Updated: May 8, 2021
2nd Sunday of Easter 10/04/2021 Jn 20,19-31
Today’s Gospel according to John is an interesting meeting after the resurrection of the Lord with different stories. However, the theme of today’s reading could be described as a “Before and after”
One of the interesting stories we have heard today is about Saint Thomas who is unwilling to believe other disciples’ testimony that Jesus rose from the dead. He refused to believe unless he can see him with his own eyes, touch him with his own hands “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 put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe”. And when Jesus appeared again telling him to put his hand into his side, face with such evidence, Thomas believed indeed.
There is another “before and after” image of the “closed-door”. Saint John repeated it twice “the door was closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews”. And the picture of what happened after that, since Jesus had given the Holy Spirit, is different. In the first reading of the Acts of the Apostles, the first Christians community lived in harmony, they loved one another and were a witness of the peaceful life which Jesus gave them. The fear is gone, the community grows in number, the apostles preach openly. They are full of grace and courage.
It is not easy to believe. Our faith is like Thomas, not strong enough. We see ourselves in him. There are many “Thomas” today who want scientific proof before they will take a risk of breaking out of a room where they locked in. Today’s Gospel reminds us that doubt was present right from the beginning of the Church, even in the Apostles. But the meeting with the Risen Lord and his gift changed and strengthened their faith.
We celebrate today the second Sunday after Easter and the Sunday of Divine Mercy. By saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” Jesus gave his disciples the power to forgive sins. He gave us the Sacrament of the Reconciliation to forgive our sins. The Divine Mercy of God is simple: It means that God loves the world. An act of God makes us recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins. He forgives all our sins.
The appearance of Jesus to the early Church and the disciples on this day gave them the most important gift that the world lacks and needs so much- PEACE. The mercy of God has come to give us peace from our troubled world. This is the peace that the world cannot give. By the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we reconcile and re-establish our relationship with God. We receive the interior Peace that he promises for our souls so that we can say as Thomas “ My Lord and my God”.
This attestation, confirmation mark our changes as a “ before and after”. May the celebration of this divine mercy Sunday inspire and change our life from a sinner to a believer, from a doubter or sceptical person to a witness for his Mercy.