Gospel Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter Year A – April 27th 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you’.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe’. Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.
Thomas…thanks! for bringing honesty into our faith. He didn’t pretend that he was better than he was. He began by wanting proof and ended in wanting faith. He is the patron saint of transitions and steps in faith. We don’t get it all together – it is a journey. He is the saint of faith in our times. How did he find it? He was open to returning to the community. That’s what he missed – he tried to go it alone. Then he came back to the community of faith and went on a journey of life that took him to martyrdom in India. He also found Christ in wanting to touch his wounds. When we are in touch with the wounds of the world in a strong and healing way, we find God. We find God when we enter into the need and the wounds of our world and find there a healing community.
Popes and Saints
Our thoughts this day go to Pope John XXIII and John Paul II, both now to be honoured as saints. Both made huge contributions to the journey of faith in the Church – John in the Vatican Council and his new style of being Pope, John Paul in his journeys to people of all countries on this journey. John invited all to the Church and was the Pope of Christian Unity, John Paul went to all, bringing a great sense of the dignity of every people and the message of justice wherever he went. Both entered into the needs of the world; and brought their kind of compassion and at times challenge.
Both knew that we keep faith and grow in faith in the faith of the community of the church. That is where we are touched by Jesus and faith is renewed.
Lord I believe, strengthen my belief.
Donal Neary SJ