Reflections on Scripture Second Sunday of Easter Gospel A

By 9:41 AM


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."

How often are we paralyzed by fear and lack of trust in the word of God?
Notice that Jesus= resurrected body is different yet the same: different, it is not limited by a closed door; the same, it is the person of Jesus.
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."  What is it that Jesus was sent to do by the Father that the disciples and we are equally sent to do? 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." In John=s theology we can=t separate the death and resurrection of Jesus from the gift of the Holy Spirit. Together the two events make up the Paschal Mystery of God=s plan. In Luke the two events are separated by fifty days.
Just as Jesus received the anointing of the Spirit after his baptism, empowering him to do the work of the Father, so the disciples and we are given the gift of the Spirit for the same purpose. How have we responded?
This mandate to forgive sins is one of the scriptural foundations for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Do we take advantage of this gift of reconciliation from Jesus?
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." Following what Jesus told them to do, the first person the disciples witnessed to was to Thomas. 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."
Have we found ourselves at times in the same place as Thomas was, struggling with doubts, in spite of what others tell us about Jesus and what he has done?
Have we at times put conditions to Jesus to fulfill before we acted in faith?
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 does not chastise or condemn Thomas for his unbelief. He reaches out in compassion and love.
Of all the confessions of faith in Jesus found in John=s Gospel this is the highest. 

Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
To believe without seeing is a greater sign of faith than seeing and then believing.
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 Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
The closing verses are addressed to us today. How has our faith in Jesus impacted our lives?
Other reflections?

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