Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 4:22-35; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31 (Year B)
“Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.”
Such was the response of the Apostle Thomas to the first news of the Resurrection. His initial hesitation is a comfort to the many who have doubted their ability to live their lives in the fullness of Christ’s new life. For Thomas, that final step of faith was accomplished only when he had encountered in his Risen Lord the wounds of a broken world. In his wounded, glorified Lord, he glimpsed what Christ had promised to that wounded world. It is in the surrender of our wounded doubts that we encounter the glory of our Risen Lord. “Happy are those who have not seen, and yet believe.”
Faith in Christ the Risen Lord is more than a determined act of the will whereby faith displaces doubt. According to the Apostle John, it is the Father’s gracious gift, making us one with his beloved Son: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God; and whoever loves the Father that begot him loves the child whom he begets.”
To confess that Christ is risen from the dead is to confess that in him we have already become the children of God. Though at times we struggle to live as the children of God, let us never doubt the power of his love to overcome our frailty. “His commandments are not difficult, because anyone who has been begotten by God has already overcome the world. This is the victory over the world, our faith.”
The Acts of the Apostles describes the selfless love unlocked through the power of the Resurrection. “The whole group of believers was united heart and soul; no one claimed for his own use anything that he had, as everything they owned was held in common. None of the members was ever in want.” The selfless generosity of these early Christians continues to challenge a divided and possessive world. If, like Thomas, our faith is conditional on seeing and touching the wounds of the Lord, let us turn to our own broken world. We touch the wounds of Christ in every act of kindness, every word of forgiveness and every act of compassion. “Put your finger here. Look, here are my hands. Doubt no longer but believe.”
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