2nd Sunday of Easter

First reading: Acts 4:32–35

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.

Second reading: 1 Jn. 5:1–6

Beloved: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth.

Gospel: Jn. 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.

In other words

by Fr. Joey Miras, SVD (Toronto, Canada)

Although the Resurrection was a defining moment of God’s graciousness and power to affect salvation, it was not received judiciously by the disciples of Christ.

Nobody had seen it as something that altered human history. In the early days after his death, they were in fear for their lives and were in hiding. Most were expecting that the salvation promised by Jesus was to happen in his earthly life, not after his death. Nobody understood the meaning of his words, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). Everyone just did not have any idea what the ‘plot’ of Jesus’ story was.

In February 1954, just fourteen months before Albert Einstein died, it is said that he wrote a letter to the American physicist David Bohm and said, “If God created the world, his primary concern was certainly not to make its understanding easy for us.” Understanding the world is already difficult, how much more is God and his ways?

Most probably after hearing stories about his appearances, the disciples of Jesus were split in their opinion regarding his Resurrection. Some believed and others did not. Among the close followers of Christ, Luke said the men probably did not believe the stories of the women. “But their words seemed like nonsense to them and they did not believe the women.” (Lk 24:11). Was this attitude of the men towards the women a way of dismissing feminine opinions or views? Or do women have no voice or place in society hence Luke pointed out that women need to be listened to as well, that their voice matters also?

Thomas belonged to those who were incredulous. He wanted more proof. He wanted to see the marks of the wounds of Jesus. Others were probably skeptical.

Was peace addressed to this division or split? It seems. They were to have one voice only regarding the Risen Christ. The disciples were being called to unite in attitude, behavior, and understanding, regarding the power of God.

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