April 15 – Believing in Jesus Christ

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Throughout the Easter season, all three of the Sundaybvreadings are taken from the New Testament—the Christian scriptures. Together they explore what it means to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the One who fulfilled the prophecies
of the Jewish scriptures. Today’s selections refer to our human weakness, yet they emphasize the forgiveness and peace that are available to those who put their faith in “Jesus Christ the righteous one” (1 John 2:2). In the Acts of the Apostles Peter invites everyone to “repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). The First Letter of John calls Jesus Christ “expiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). Finally, in the Gospel Jesus greets the disciples with “Peace” and urges them to preach “repentance, for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47).

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April 8 – So That You May Believe

It is not often that the author of one of the books of the Bible comes right out and tells us directly why he is writing what he is writing. In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, taken from the conclusion of John’s Gospel, the author tells us that he has chosen to record these events so “that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name” (20:31). The letter of John echoes this idea by saying that “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God” (5:1)—what we might refer to as being “born again.” Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles for this Second Sunday of Easter shows us exactly what it looks like when believers are born again through faith.

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