Sunday, April 23
Second Sunday of Easter
John 20: 19 – 31
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written 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.
This weekend when you go to Mass you will hear the familiar story of ‘Doubting Thomas’. As you are aware, Thomas the Apostle is called that because he refused to believe the other disciples when they told him they had seen the Risen Lord. On hearing of the visit he said ‘No way! ‘Or, as the text reports, “…unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger in His side, I will not believe.’ When Jesus appeared and told Thomas to put His finger and hand into his wounds, the Gospel passage says Thomas responded with “My Lord and my God!’ Of course he believed. Who wouldn’t?
Today Jesus doesn’t appear to us and tell us to touch His wounds. As He invites Thomas to do just that, He proclaims a message that may be a source of hope for all of us. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. ” Yes, Jesus was talking about us – about you and me. We are blessed because we believe in Him even though we have not seen. We are blessed.
Think of the people whom you know in your life who make Jesus the Christ known in how they live and in how they are with others. In seeing them we see Jesus. We must remind ourselves that Jesus is in these people around us. And going one step further, we must ask ourselves if others ever see or experience Jesus in us. In you. In me.
Sometime this week look into a mirror; look into your eyes reflected back at you. Ask Jesus to reflect His face, His life, and His love to others. And remember that when Jesus is with you, so much is possible.
Deacon Frank Iannarino