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Appleton, WI

Homily Connect Apr 11: Devine Mercy Sunday

Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday

Scripture
Acts 4:32-35
John 20:19-31

Let’s Begin with Robert Frost –Mending Wall
Something there is that doesn’t like a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
and spills the upper boulders in the sun…
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors?
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.’

Jesus Adverse to Walls

 

  • Both prior to and after the Resurrection
  • He tears down walls between sinners and saints
  • Not about locked doors even for those who abandoned him
  • Came to upper room once-returned again for Thomas
  • The disciples were his family

 

Nothing More Painful

  • The wall between family members who are estranged
  • No family is perfect

The Early Christian Church-The Family of Families

  • For me, St. Mary Parish is the family of families
  • Church history gives an idyllic description: They were of one mind and one heart….There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to one’s need.
  • Sharing property or goods is commendable – But realize it was a struggle to live
  • There was that couple who kept some for themselves….

My Hope and Dream for our Parish Family

  • That we are committed to each other
  • To be a genuine family /community of believers–we need to know each other by name
  • We desire to care for and pray for one another by name
  • We support each other in good times and bad
  • We are strongest when we treasure each member without competing, judging or envy
  • We choose to stay with the family even when we don’t agree
  • We work to dismantle walls

My Heart Breaks When Longtime Cherished Family Members Leave

  • Not because of a move for work, etc.
  • Because of something I said or did
  • Without a face to face with me-they join another parish

Our History Together has to be So Precious

  • Pastors are temporary
  • Family members are committed-they love each other

One Mind and Heart

  • Each is committed to get to know each other
  • Each invests our time and talent to build up our family
  • So we can reach out to those who are not yet part of the family

What St. Mary’s Is and Is Not

  • We are not an institution that provides services
  • We are a community that provides care

Which is Most Important – Which Comes First?

  • I suggest belonging comes first
  • What if St. Mary’s environment was so warm and welcoming, people just want to belong and this would open up a place in their hearts of love and respect where they were affirmed and treasured
  • No judgement or prejudice in our family

What If…

  • It was noted far and wide –See how those family members of Saint Mary Parish love one another! Let’s check them out!

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • How did you understand your Church family when you were young? How do you understand it today?
  • How have walls affected your life? What is your advice for breaking down walls?
  • How did you understand your church family when you were young? How do you understand it today?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for your church family? What do you think is your biggest contribution to making St. Mary’s a family that people are drawn to?

Live Connected

  • Consider making a list of ways that you can personally help to make St. Mary’s an irresistible family to be a part of. Then just do it!
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