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SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER JOHN 20:19-31
Catholic Homilies
APRIL 22nd , 2001 A.D.

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SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER JOHN 20:19-31

Background:

Often this Gospel is used as an occasion to prove the Church's control of the forgiveness of sins and even to demand more frequent confession. The Church, in this perspective, has a monopoly on forgiveness and must be stern in its use. Patently this narrowly circumscribes the passionate forgiveness of God which Jesus came to reveal. God may be generous with forgiveness, it is implied, but the Church cannot and should not. Yet the story of Thomas, immediately after suggests that such an interpretation of the words of Jesus missed the points. Believing in Jesus, the Risen Lord, even when we do not see him, compels us to live as forgiving people. Sometimes it is very hard to realize that we must believe if we are live the unusual life Jesus calls us to.

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Once upon a time not so very long ago, 16-year-old twin brothers received invitations to the big party the senior basketball players were throwing at the lake over the Memorial Day weekend. Now the twins knew their parents would not be too pleased at the idea of them attending this party, especially since the parents knew that the party thrower’s parents believed that they should supply beer for their son’s parties as a way to control the amount of drinking the young people did. The twin’s parents were well aware of the beer, hard liquor, and drugs that the partygoers would bring on their own. The twins decided they would wait until a day or two before the party to tell their parents about the event, hoping that would give the parents less time to check up on the party plans. Of course, as most teenagers do, the twins underestimated their parents and the parental grapevine that spread the word about goings on at the school. The twins also forgot that the weekend of the party was the weekend of their Grandfather’s 75th birthday and that the family was traveling to another city for the celebration. On the Wednesday before the weekend they told their parents about the party, only to be reminded about their grandfather’s party. Of course, the boys tried to find reasons why it would be ok for them to skip Grandpa’s party. They were quickly reminded that they did not have an option on this. It was a family gathering. All the relatives would be there, including the cousins they that are constantly begging their parents to invite for a visit. And so the twins went to the family party, complaining all the way there and all they way home about how unfair it was that they had to miss the party at the lake. Shortly before they arrived home, they heard a radio flash about an automobile accident that had killed two teens and injured four others. The car was coming from the basketball team party and one of the teens that was killed and one that was injured were juniors and friends of the twins. The driver of that car had an alcohol level well above that of sobriety.

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The driver of that car had an alcohol level well above that of sobriety

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