Second Sunday of Easter - 28th April, 2019

Liturgical Reflection

 
John 20:19-31

 

You can feel the fear in that room. Their leader has just been executed by the state police, encouraged by their own religious leaders. They are in hiding, they feel betrayed and in fear of their lives. John is writing of this event decades after, it obviously was a traumatic memory that had stayed with him throughout his adult life.

But what’s this? Suddenly their dead leader is there in front of them, as large as life, no doubt appearing larger.

He brings Peace. He brings a mission.

And He tells these scared people that they can forgive sinners through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Could this day get any more fantastically outrageous? After all these people are Jews, they know that only God can forgive sins.

But Jesus comes with the divine mercy of forgiveness; a gift that will last the millennia, the actuality of forgiveness, the cure for spiritual illness.

Then along comes Thomas. You’ve just got to love him – don’t you? He was absent for this first encounter of the apostles with Jesus after the resurrection. He doesn’t believe his colleagues when they tell him about Jesus being alive and well.

A simple soul with no affectation is how I see him.

‘Trust’ – that’s all very well, as far as it goes, but Thomas is always looking for the evidence and does the Lord have a plan for him?

Just imagine the scene: “OK Thomas just put your fingers into my wounds and believe.” And from this tete-a-tete we get one of our greatest prayers:

 

‘My Lord and My God’.

Jesus speaks of the future, of us here today in the twenty-first century when he says, “Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

I am thankful for that divine mercy, as evident today as it was then. It has supported and nourished my life in many obvious ways and in many ways of which, no doubt I am not aware.

Isn’t Easter a wonderful time?

Judith Croke