From Western and Eastern Christian traditions, resurrection/anastasis carries an individual and a communal quality. In the days after the tragic school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and in dozens of others before, the question arises: How do communities, families, and friends grieve, lament, and heal after death? Grief is a long and painful journey. How do survivors live on after experiences of sickness, disease, hatred, violence, and death? How do communities move from grief to restoration? This scripture reading gives us a glimpse into life in community after death.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, his friends, his followers, share something with the parents, grandparents, and teachers who witness such violence and killing. They carry unbearable pain. The world has long been filled with violence against the innocent—children, people who are poor, those living with mental illness, those who are estranged and isolated—and against Jesus himself. Often the messengers of movements of nonviolence are blamed. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and the apostles are blamed for the violent acts of others.

Mourning can be done alone; yet within the embrace of community, those who suffer from unspeakable sorrow caused by violence, neglect, and conflict heal and keep an open heart.

In the days following the school shooting in Parkland, young people—like the apostles in today’s reading—raise their voices to those with political power and come together to say, “This must stop. We will rise to end gun violence.” Motivated by pain, sorrow, and suffering they are rising up. They are turning their grief into a movement for nonviolence.

O Jesus, Light of Life, this is the world for which you died. This is the world for which you rose. This is the world for which you come again and again. We witness to these things. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 20:19-31

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Leccionario Semanal
April 22–28, 2019
Resumen de la Escritura

After the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples are unable to remain silent. They go to the Temple to proclaim the gospel. Some receive the message, while others do not. This causes turmoil within the community, but the apostles stand firm in their testimony, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Psalm 150 might be on the lips of those early apostles. Everything that has breath should praise the Lord! The author of Revelation recounts a vision that he receives from the risen Jesus Christ, who one day will return as Lord of all nations. In John we learn more about the source of the confidence of the apostles. They have experienced Jesus in the flesh, and this experience gives power to their proclamation of the reality of his resurrection.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Acts 5:27-32. When has your faith compelled you to rise up, stand up, or kneel down in obedience to God rather than earthly authorities?
Read Psalm 150. When have you praised God with great noise? When have you praised God with quiet service to creation?
Read Revelation 1:4-8. How do you see peace arising out of violence in the Bible and in the world around you?
Read John 20:19-31. How have your experiences of witnessing violence or the results of violence helped you to understand that violence does not have the last word?

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