Acts 4: 32-35 – 1 John 5: 1-6 – John 20: 19-31
Most of us have heard over the years, sometimes to our regret, that actions have consequences. It is exactly this idea that we can consider today as we are gathered to celebrate the Eucharist.
Last week we recalled the Resurrection of the Lord and renewed our commitment in Faith by the renewal of our Baptismal Promises. That was the action. Today we reflect on the consequences. The life of the early Christian community was briefly described for us in what we heard from the Acts of the Apostles. That community was united in life and in its activities through by the faith they shared in Jesus Christ. The community was convinced that it could succeed and be victorious over any obstacle because of their faith in the Risen Lord. This community, however, lived in the manner it did. Not because it had a direct experience of Jesus Christ, they had not seen but they believed.
The portrayal of the early Christian community is one that is genuinely idealistic. It is not unlike that certain idealism that we might have when we consider what might have been or what might be. All the idealism which we may have in life is tempered by reality. Sometimes that reality is harsh; other times it is bitter; sometimes it is defeating; other times that reality can almost eliminate all idealism.
Likewise is this true about the Christian community that developed in the Church. In the history of the Church over the centuries the hope of that idealism was quickly dashed Petty arguments arose as did self-serving heresies. Individuals, in different ways, sought their own benefits, rather than that of the community. All too often persons used the church to pursue their own purposes rather than that of being the experience of the person of Jesus Christ. Such has been, and is, the history of the Church, this community to which we belong.
Our celebration of Easter is a reminder to us year after year that idealism cannot be defeated. It must be renewed. The hope of the Resurrection cannot be dimmed. It must be strengthened. It is as if each Easter we return to that joy of Thomas when he exclaimed with amazement “My Lord and my God!”
Easter calls us to renew the idealism of our own faith a renewed idealism that, perhaps, is especially needed. It is a renewed idealism that expresses in both word and action the depth of faith in a good and gracious god