Second Sunday of Easter Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31
In the evening of the 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 put ky finger in 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 her; 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 believing this you may have life through his name.
“The doors were closed in the room where the disciples were for fear”. Can you recall a time in your life when you were paralysed by fear – A frightening health scare, uncertainty of employment, financial worries? Who “came and stood” with you and helped you see that your strong enough to face the challenges and that you were not alone? Offer a prayer of gratitude for all those friends and member of caring organisations – Marie Curie, Macmillan Nurses – who take the time to reassure and comfort other.
“The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord”. The pain of emigration is one felt by most families. Can you recall being “filled with joy” when a family member returned home after an absence? Give thanks for that memory and pray for the safety of all our loved ones who have emigrated..
“I refuse to believe”. Sometimes like Thomas we are constantly looking for proof. In our family life are we arrogant and self-righteous in our dealings with others? Do we dismiss out of hand what others have to say because we can’t “see the holes that the nails have made”? Lord forgive us for those times when we were obstacles to potentially beautiful experiences because of our closed minds. Help us to be open and encouraging in our dealing with others.
“My Lord and My God” Give thanks for those memories of beautiful sacred occasions when you were aware of the living presence of God in your life. The birth of a child, witnessing the love of two people, unexpected good new, recovery from illness. Offer a prayer of gratitude for those moments when we recognise God at work in our lives.