Video Lessons on the “four pillars” of the Catechism
FIRST READING—These verses are the first of three summary statements on the community life of the early Christians. Four characteristics are identified: instruction/teaching, table-fellowship, prayer, and sharing all things in common. These verses are an idealized version of how a community filled with the Spirit should live.
The Octave of Easter is the eight days from Easter Sunday to the second Sunday of Easter, as the ancients counted, with Easter Sunday counting as day #1 and the Second Sunday of Easter counting as day #8 when Jesus appeared to the Apostles in the Upper Room a second time (Jn 20:26-29). During these eight days, the Church shared with us the Gospel stories of the Resurrection of Christ. Today is also celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a celebration inaugurated in 2000 by St. Pope John Paul II when he canonized St. Faustina Kowalska and declared the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. The Church established Divine Mercy Sunday based on the devotion to the Divine Mercy by Saint Faustina Kowalska from her reported visions and conversations with Christ. The day is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church.
Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love is everlasting
RESPONSORIAL PSALM—This is a prayer of thanksgiving to God for deliverance.
Psalm 118 is the last of the Hallel (literally “Praise God”) Psalms. Psalms 113-117 recount the Exodus liberation and Israel’s gratitude as a people and as individuals for God’s mercy in redeeming them from slavery in Egypt. However, Psalm 118 is not in the same theme as the other psalms of the Hallel. Psalm 118 is the voice of a mysterious, unnamed king of Israel after God has given him victory over his enemies. The king’s salvation/success is a manifestation of God’s steadfast covenant love (hesed) and faithfulness.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Peter’s encouraging words
SECOND READING—This letter is addressed to several Gentile Christian communities living in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), recently converted to Christianity. The communities are suffering harassment and ostracization for being followers of Christ. They are made to feel like marginal people, ‘aliens’ in the society in which they live. A very existential question for them would have been: How can a person continue to be faithful to Christ in such a hostile environment?
This pastoral letter seeks to give encouragement to Christians living in such hostile environment. The letter also contains a list of exhortations on things like household duties, husband/wife relations, and concern for the public face of the church living in a pagan society.
The God of Jesus Christ is praised for giving us, through Jesus, a new birth, a new hope, and an imperishable inheritance (Heaven). The gift offered to us is very precious and worth suffering for. The ‘inheritance’ of the believer is God himself. This is cause for rejoicing even in the midst of trials.
God’s presence does not mean that we will not suffer, but it does mean that we will have the strength to endure it. The power of the Resurrection at work in us gives us the ability to endure whatever comes our way. ‘Faith’ is described in terms of a love and a trust without sight (v.8). Joy in the midst of trial springs from the realization that the road to salvation has been secured.
In his letter to the universal Church, St. Peter offers praise to God the Father, who he praises as the source of mercy. In verse 3, Peter offers what in the Jewish tradition is called a “berakah” (literal Hebrew = “blessing”). It acknowledges God’s mercy as the basis for the New Covenant order made through the redemptive work of God the Son in God’s divine plan for humanity’s salvation. Speaking of God’s mercy as the foundation for the blessings received in the New Covenant in Christ, we can appreciate that there is a continuity of the works of God’s mercy in the Old Testament fulfilled in the redemptive work of Jesus our Redeemer-Messiah.
Jesus’ appearance to the disciples
GOSPEL— John shares with us two Resurrection appearances of Jesus. The first appearance is sometimes called John’s Pentecost because during it, Jesus imparts his Spirit. Prior to Jesus’ coming, the disciples were filled with fear (of the authorities, hence the locked doors), guilt (for abandoning Jesus) and depression (because of Jesus’ death). With Jesus’ entry into their lives, the fear, guilt and depression are replaced with joy and peace. Then Jesus commissions his disciples to continue his work, but not before he gives them his Spirit. He also gives them the power to forgive sins, something the Catholic Church acts on in and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sins would only be ‘retained’ if one were not truly sorry for his/her sins or were unwilling to embrace the teachings of Jesus.
Some scholars see Jesus’ appearance to Thomas as representing the second generation of Christians—those called to believe on the testimony of others.Even though Thomas refuses to believe the testimony of others, those following him will be called to come to faith on the testimony of others.
Though we may judge Thomas harshly, Jesus takes him where he is at. From Thomas, we learn how to be honest with our doubts. If Thomas needs to touch the wounds of Christ, Jesus will oblige him. The Gospel does not say that Thomas actually touches the wounds—only that he cries out in faith: “My Lord and my God.” It is a story for all of us who may sometimes experience doubt concerning matters of faith. Jesus, too, will be patient with us and will help us overcome our doubts if we cooperate with his grace-filled touch upon our lives. To believe in Jesus’ Resurrection implies an intellectual assent. If also means that we too are sent to share the Good News with others.
It is Sunday afternoon; it is the eighth day since Resurrection Sunday as the ancients counted without the concept of zero place-value. The “evening” time of the day is toward the close of the day. The next day for the Jews begins at sundown, so evening is in the mid-to-late afternoon. The time is probably about 3 PM, the time of the third hour of prayer.
The disciples were afraid for their lives because the Sanhedrin might arrest them, try them for blasphemy, and arrange to have them condemned to death just as they condemned Jesus. Significantly, Jesus came to them supernaturally. Locked doors could not stop Him. Jesus’ greeting to the disciples is the customary greeting of the Jews. These are the very words the priest uses, as he stands in “persona Christi,” in the Person of Christ, as he greets the congregation.
1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention. Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some way? Which part of the Passion story speaks to you most this year? Why?
2. The first reading describes the communal life of the early Christians. What motivated you to join a Small Christian Community? How is your participation a blessing in your life?
3. In the Gospel, Jesus brings the gift of ‘Peace’ to the fear-filled disciples. How would you describe the gift of peace that Jesus gives us, gives you?
4. If you sometimes experience doubt in your faith life, what helps you to deal with it?
5. On this Divine Mercy Sunday, we rejoice in God’s mercy and love for us. What helps you live a life of mercy and love towards others?
6. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.
Call to Action
Practice mercy. Pray for all experiencing doubt in their faith life. Pray for all received into Full Communion at the Easter Vigil, that they will have staying power (in Christ) to remain committed to their new Church family.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel you bring peace, joy and mercy to disciples who are fearful and depressed. Fill me with these Easter gifts of peace, joy and mercy.
Jesus, breathe on us your Holy Spirit so that we can live our lives more like you and be filled with your peace, joy and mercy. Amen.
Video by Larry Broding. Visit Word-Sunday.com website for detailed commentary and other resources regarding the readings for this Sunday.
Savoring God’s Abundance
“The darkness of evil and despair can be strong enough to obscure evidence of God’s goodness. In the Gospel reading, I imagine Thomas with a heavy heart of mourning and desolation after the man he hoped and believed was the Messiah died so brutally. Perhaps it isn’t that he defiantly refuses to believe that Jesus has appeared to the disciples. He just cannot bring himself to hope, when the evidence of Jesus’ suffering and death is so obvious. He misses the ways in which God does manifest himself, in the hope and joy in the disciples’ eyes, who were transformed by that encounter. I can certainly empathize with Thomas. In the day in and day out of work at the border, as I encounter men separated from their children and moms …”
CATHOLIC WOMEN PREACH – April 12, 2020
EXCERPT — Believing was a challenge in the early church, just as it is now. The first Christians struggled with how to understand the ongoing presence of Jesus. They came to know that they needed to be signs to others — to witness to and demonstrate peace, forgiveness and mercy. We have not seen him, but we have seen signs of his presence in others. Perhaps more importantly, others must see signs of his presence in us. Presence is mysterious and profound. When we experience it, we are called to pay it forward as we have received it.
NCR SUNDAY RESOURCES – Joan DeMerchant
EXCERPT – Peace be with you—I just lost my job. Peace be with you—I worry about my daughter’s relationship with an abusive boyfriend. Peace be with you—my spouse and I do not even talk; we lead parallel lives. Peace be with you—I’m flunking English. Peace be with you—I’m not feeling well and I’m beginning to worry.
Three times in today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses his disciples with the greeting, “Peace be with you.” It is a way of promising life, healing, and joy. We desire these gifts. But very frequently Jesus’ greeting of peace is at odds with the worries and the troubles of our lives. As these worries and troubles press in around us, it is understandable why we might question: Can we believe in Jesus’ greeting? Is there reason to hope in the promise of peace?
BUILDING ON THE WORD – Fr. George Sigma
EXCERPT – Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. This special day following Easter Sunday, was requested by the Lord to honor His Divine Mercy. Mercy includes the true notion of some sin or wrong doing having taken place, and the one offended forgives and does not deal out the just retribution for the sins / wrongdoings. Because mankind could not and cannot on his own merits or good works earn God’s forgiveness, and make things right before God’s Justice, Mercy is needed for all of mankind. God is Mercy personified. And while teaching on earth, Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, they shall obtain mercy.”
EXCERPT — We are in the so-called “book of the resurrection” where we are told, in a not-so-logical sequence, several matters concerning the risen Christ and the facts that prove it. In the fourth Gospel, these facts take place in the morning (20:1-18) and evening of the first day after the Saturday and eight days later, in the same place and on the same day of the week. We are before an event that is the most important in the history of humanity, an event that challenges us personally. “If Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing it is useless… and you are still in your sins” (1Cor 15:14, 17) says Paul the apostle who had not known Jesus before His resurrection, but who zealously preached Him all his life. Jesus is sent by the Father. He also sends us. Our willingness to “go” comes from the depth of the faith we have in the Risen One. Are we prepared to accept His “mandate” and to give our lives for His Kingdom? This passage is not just about the faith of those who have not seen (the witness of Thomas), but also about the mission entrusted to the Church by Christ.
THE ORDER OF CARMELITES – Lectio Divina: Sundays of Lent
EXCERPT — Thomas didn’t say, “I give up.” He said, “I won’t believe it until I feel it.” He wasn’t closed to the Gospel, but he refused to accept a cheap substitute. Thomas had the integrity to say, “I’m not there yet,” and that was a proclamation that he wanted more faith than he had. Thomas appears today to call us to integrity and the humility to be forgiven and to forgive. The Resurrection accounts remind us that Christian faith is a long and costly journey into forgiveness and peace. Thomas reminds us that doubt is more valuable than superficial faith and that humility and integrity are essential conditions for giving and receiving the grace of forgiveness.
NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER – Mary M. McGlone, CSJ
EXCERPT — Our ideas of connection and community have been put to the test. Many institutions have been reaching members virtually, as physical contact is limited to slow the spread of Covid-19. Today’s readings reveal how early Christians connected with people in order to spread the faith. They can inspire us to think about how we engage with our sisters and brothers and nurture our faith, even at a distance.
AMERICA MAGAZINE – Jamie Waters
EXCERPT — The experience of faith is not the absence of pain or sorrow or loss. It is, rather, the bearing of pain or sorrow in faith. Faith does not take away the wounds; it transforms them. In faith, flaws are not obliterated; they are refined and purified. Thomas, still hanging around a community of faith, discovers Christ in his unbelief. Although they kept telling Thomas—it went on for a week—that Jesus had risen, he refused to believe. “I’ll not believe” without entering the wounds. How right he was. Faith must be found as much in the wounds of life as in the glories. And from the wounds a faith might most amazingly emerge. “My Lord and my God,” that skeptic is reported to have said.
SUNDAY WEB SITE – Father John Kavanaugh, SJ
EXCERPT (2017)— This is the second Sunday during what must be one of the most unusual Easter seasons in recent history, as all of us try to cope with the pandemic and our churches standing empty. In many ways, the Lectionary readings for this Sunday seem strangely apt for this moment…Every day now, especially, we hear about first responders and health care workers catching COVID-19 because they ministered to those who are ill. This is not a new idea. Jesus reminded his disciples on the eve of his death that there is “no greater love than this than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…In this strange Easter season, we are reminded that God’s sacrificial love for us is far more powerful than any form of death.”
CHICAGO CATHOLIC – Father Donald Senior, CP
THIS WEEK’S CATECHISM EXCERPTS
“By using the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the homilist can help his people integrate the word of God, the faith of the Church, the moral demands of the Gospel, and their personal and liturgical spirituality.”
From the Homiletic Directory
CCC 448, 641-646: appearances of the risen Christ
CCC 1084-1089: sanctifying presence of the risen Christ in the liturgy
CCC 2177-2178, 1342: the Sunday Eucharist
CCC 654-655, 1988: our new birth in the Resurrection of Christ
CCC 976-983, 1441-1442: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins”
CCC 949-953, 1329, 1342, 2624, 2790: communion in spiritual goods
448 Very often in the Gospels people address Jesus as “Lord”. This title testifies to the respect and trust of those who approach him for help and healing.62 At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, “Lord” expresses the recognition of the divine mystery of Jesus.63 In the encounter with the risen Jesus, this title becomes adoration: “My Lord and my God!” It thus takes on a connotation of love and affection that remains proper to the Christian tradition: “It is the Lord!”64
The appearances of the Risen One
641 Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One.498 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves.499 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,500 and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”501
642 Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles – and Peter in particular – in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses of the Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. The faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them. Peter and the Twelve are the primary “witnesses to his Resurrection”, but they are not the only ones – Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of all the apostles.502
643 Given all these testimonies, Christ’s Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples’ faith was drastically put to the test by their master’s Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold.503 The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized (“looking sad”504) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an “idle tale”.505 When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, “he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”506
644 Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. “In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering.”507 Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord’s last appearance in Galilee “some doubted.”508 Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.
645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his Passion.509 Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ’s humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Father’s divine realm.510 For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith.511
646 Christ’s Resurrection was not a return to earthly life, as was the case with the raisings from the dead that he had performed before Easter: Jairus’ daughter, the young man of Naim, Lazarus. These actions were miraculous events, but the persons miraculously raised returned by Jesus’ power to ordinary earthly life. At some particular moment they would die again. Christ’s Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus’ Resurrection his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit: he shares the divine life in his glorious state, so that St. Paul can say that Christ is “the man of heaven”.512
II. CHRIST’S WORK IN THE LITURGY
1084 “Seated at the right hand of the Father” and pouring out the Holy Spirit on his Body which is the Church, Christ now acts through the sacraments he instituted to communicate his grace. The sacraments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.
1085 In the liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father “once for all.”8 His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is – all that he did and suffered for all men – participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life.
1086 “Accordingly, just as Christ was sent by the Father so also he sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This he did so that they might preach the Gospel to every creature and proclaim that the Son of God by his death and resurrection had freed us from the power of Satan and from death and brought us into the Kingdom of his Father. But he also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves.”9
1087 Thus the risen Christ, by giving the Holy Spirit to the apostles, entrusted to them his power of sanctifying:10 they became sacramental signs of Christ. By the power of the same Holy Spirit they entrusted this power to their successors. This “apostolic succession” structures the whole liturgical life of the Church and is itself sacramental, handed on by the sacrament of Holy Orders.
1088 “To accomplish so great a work” – the dispensation or communication of his work of salvation – “Christ is always present in his Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, ‘the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,’ but especially in the Eucharistic species. By his power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes, it is really Christ himself who baptizes. He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he has promised ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.”‘11
1089 “Christ, indeed, always associates the Church with himself in this great work in which God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. The Church is his beloved Bride who calls to her Lord and through him offers worship to the eternal Father.”12
“I BELIEVE IN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS”
976 The Apostle’s Creed associates faith in the forgiveness of sins not only with faith in the Holy Spirit, but also with faith in the Church and in the communion of saints. It was when he gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles that the risen Christ conferred on them his own divine power to forgive sins: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”520
- (Part Two of the catechism will deal explicitly with the forgiveness of sins through Baptism, the sacrament of Penance, and the other sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Here it will suffice to suggest some basic facts briefly.)
* I. ONE BAPTISM FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
977 Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and Baptism: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”521 Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that “we too might walk in newness of life.”522
978 “When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them. . . . Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil “523
979 In this battle against our inclination towards evil, who could be brave and watchful enough to escape every wound of sin? “If the Church has the power to forgive sins, then Baptism cannot be her only means of using the keys of the Kingdom of heaven received from Jesus Christ. The Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives.”524
- Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers “a laborious kind of baptism.” This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.525
981 After his Resurrection, Christ sent his apostles “so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.”526 The apostles and their successors carry out this “ministry of reconciliation,” not only by announcing to men God’s forgiveness merited for us by Christ, and calling them to conversion and faith; but also by communicating to them the forgiveness of sins in Baptism, and reconciling them with God and with the Church through the power of the keys, received from Christ:527
- [The Church] has received the keys of the Kingdom of heaven so that, in her, sins may be forgiven through Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit’s action. In this Church, the soul dead through sin comes back to life in order to live with Christ, whose grace has saved us.528
982 There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. “There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest.529 Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin.530
983 Catechesis strives to awaken and nourish in the faithful faith in the incomparable greatness of the risen Christ’s gift to his Church: the mission and the power to forgive sins through the ministry of the apostles and their successors:
- The Lord wills that his disciples possess a tremendous power: that his lowly servants accomplish in his name all that he did when he was on earth.531Priests have received from God a power that he has given neither to angels nor to archangels . . . . God above confirms what priests do here below.532
Were there no forgiveness of sins in the Church, there would be no hope of life to come or eternal liberation. Let us thank God who has given his Church such a gift.533
Only God forgives sin
1441 Only God forgives sins.39 Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.”40 Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.41
1442 Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the “ministry of reconciliation.”42 The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: “Be reconciled to God.”43
I. COMMUNION IN SPIRITUAL GOODS
Communion in the faith. The faith of the faithful is the faith of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life which is enriched by being shared.
950 Communion of the sacraments. “The fruit of all the sacraments belongs to all the faithful. All the sacraments are sacred links uniting the faithful with one another and binding them to Jesus Christ, and above all Baptism, the gate by which we enter into the Church. The communion of saints must be understood as the communion of the sacraments. . . . The name ‘communion’ can be applied to all of them, for they unite us to God. . . . But this name is better suited to the Eucharist than to any other, because it is primarily the Eucharist that brings this communion about.”483
951 Communion of charisms. Within the communion of the Church, the Holy Spirit “distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank” for the building up of the Church.484 Now, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”485
952 “They had everything in common.”486 “Everything the true Christian has is to be regarded as a good possessed in common with everyone else. All Christians should be ready and eager to come to the help of the needy . . . and of their neighbors in want.”487 A Christian is a steward of the Lord’s goods.488
953 Communion in charity. In the sanctorum communio, “None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”489 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”490 “Charity does not insist on its own way.”491 In this solidarity with all men, living or dead, which is founded on the communion of saints, the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all. Every sin harms this communion.