Sunday, April 8, 2018

My Lord and my God!

In today's Gospel, John 20:19-31,  the apostles have locked themselves in a building, fearful of the Jews finding them, imprisoning them and putting them to death as they did Jesus. "...Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'"  Recall the times Jesus said to them: Fear not those who can physically harm the body. Fear those who can harm you spiritually.   In a sense Jesus is reminding them of that fact. "Be at peace! The Jews cannot harm you. Look at me. I am risen from the dead.  The Jews could not harm me and they will harm you neither. Fear not physical death. Follow me! Proclaim my resurrection. You, too, will one day be raised with me." And later when Jesus is about to ascend to His Father and theirs, He tells them that they cannot follow Him at that moment. It's like He said to them: "You cannot come with me now, but you will join Me later. Where I am, you will also be," referring to His eternal Kingdom.

At this meeting, Jesus commissioned them:  "'As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed over them, and said to them 'Receive the Holy Spirit...'"  In the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, we, too, received the Holy Spirit.  Though we do to see Jesus with our naked eyes but with eyes of faith, we believe. In today's Gospel, Thomas was not with the apostles when Jesus appeared.  When the apostles told them that they had seen the Lord, Thomas said: "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hand and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." A week later, Jesus appears to the apostles again. This time Thomas is with them and Jesus says to him:   "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 responds: "My Lord and my God."

Notice that Jesus does not condemn Thomas but is very gentle and affirming. He meets Thomas where he is at! He does the same for us!  If we are at a point of disbelief or unbelief and proclaim: "I will not believe unless.......(fill in the blank)," Jesus will invite us at the right moment to a position where, like Thomas, we say: "My Lord and my God."  Jesus is willing to wait as long as it takes for us to open our hearts to His Love.

No comments:

Post a Comment