for Sunday, April 7, 2013
Once the reality of the Resurrection touched the lives of the early
followers of Jesus, they could not keep silent about His presence in their
lives. They had to talk about him among themselves and to others. What
had happened was just so startling and so compelling that they could not be
still. They had to share this presence of Jesus in their lives.
We who come so many years after the Resurrection must have some encounter
with the Risen Lord. Once we let Him touch our lives, we are never the
same. It is so incredible to know Jesus and to believe in His life, death
and Resurrection. We also must feel this impulse to share our experience
of Him at work in our lives. It is different from the experience of these
early followers who ate, drank, walked and talked personally with Jesus.
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.
When we read the Scriptures, we come into contact with the witness of these
early believers. We are invited to believe because of their witness.
Perhaps their witness sounds nadve or simple to us. On the other hand,
they were ordinary people, workers, outcasts, fishermen, tax collectors,
women with bad reputations, etc. Just ordinary people who met Jesus and
whose lives were changed forever.
Many of us have walked with the Jesus for years and years and have never
felt the excitement that these earlier follows felt. On the other hand,
many of them also seem not to have been terribly moved at first. Think of
Saint Peter or of Saint Thomas, who shows up in the Gospel today. These
are people that perhaps we can identify with. Peter who is such an
enthusiast and yet denies knowing the Lord. Thomas who uses big words to
show that he won’t believe easily and then is embarrassed when Jesus asks
him to believe.
We need never be afraid of our own weaknesses, our doubts or our rejections
of the Lord. Always He continues to love us. Always He finds new ways to
sneak into our hearts and our minds. If we have walked with Him, then we
can look at our history with Him and see what has happened in our lives.
In many relationships we can feel that nothing changes. When we look back,
however, we find that things are always changing.
This is Divine Mercy Sunday, Thomas Sunday and the Octave of Easter. We
can hear the echo of the Book of Revelation in our own lives: Do not be
afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead,
but now I am alive forever and ever.
Let us renew our faith, as did Thomas. Let us believe in the Lord and
reflect on all that He has done already within us. Let us be open to let
Him surprise us again if we will just invite Him into hearts once more.
Christ is risen! Alleluia.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Acts 5.12-16
Second Reading: Revelation 1.9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
Gospel: John 20.19-31
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: