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.
He has Risen, Alleluia!
As we conclude the Octave of Easter, the Church gives us a glimpse of what life was like in the early Church. The life of the Church today, while much larger, still proclaims the Gospel the midst of the world with all the challenges that entails.
First, in the Acts of the Apostles, we see the ideal of the Christian life. We see a unified and strong community life. The first disciples focus on being together not only in prayer but also for meals and fellowship. They are also devoted to the poor, and we hear of the Apostles caring for those in need.
Then, in the Second Reading and also the Gospel, we hear of the human condition that plagues the Church. First, the Letter of Peter is encouraging the faithful to stand strong in the great joy of the Resurrection despite the trials of this world, especially the great opposition to the Church.
In the Gospel, we hear of the disbelief of Thomas. We are quick to blame Thomas. How can he not believe in the Resurrection? Yet, upon further reflection, we can see that what Thomas experiences, we all experience. We have times of doubt, of disbelief. We have times of sin. Despite all of this, Christ forgives us and still uses us for His glory. He invited us to insert our sinfulness into His wounds of mercy and forgiveness.
Today, the Church also celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. Christ, in His Divine Mercy, longs to forgive us. As we begin this new week, let us always remember to turn toward Christ for forgiveness and mercy so that we can be a stronger instrument of Christ’s grace.
As always, know of my prayers before Our Resurrected Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.