Gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter
Jesus stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”…Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Jesus “was made known” in repentance and forgiveness. Forgiveness is an encounter with the risen Christ. When we offer and receive forgiveness our hearts ought to burn because of the encounter with the risen Christ within us. This is resurrected life: “You are forgiven.” This is our witness to the resurrection: “I forgive you.” We must walk and act like a forgiven people. Forgiveness is the virtue that enables us not to allow past hurts to determine our decisions and actions in the here and now. Forgiveness opens up the space for creating together with the one forgiven a new future where we can live in peace. This is how Jesus is known. (Living Liturgy, p.120)
The Manual of the Society states: The Conference meeting is the heart from which SVDP activity radiates and the sanctuary where its work is organized. The meeting provides a privileged occasion wherein the love of Christ is manifested member to member, where members are open, one to another, embracing each other as brother and sister, where the healing presence of Christ can be experienced and can grow to overflowing dimensions that can be shared with others. (US Manual, P.95)
Lord Jesus, your resurrection brought forgiveness to the disciples,
-fill us with your peace!
For the grace to labor in your name,
-fill us with your strength!
For the grace to forgive and to be forgiven,
-fill us with your compassion!
For the grace to bring your peace to all Conference meetings,
-fill us with your trust!
For the grace to be witnesses to your resurrection,
-fill us with your joy!