(2nd Sunday of Easter: Acts 4:32-35; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31)
For the Apostle Thomas one thing was certain: Jesus was dead and buried. Therefore, it was simply impossible that the others had seen him alive. The doors of his mind were shut even tighter than those of the place where the disciples were gathered on that evening of the first day of the week.
Another impossible thing is presented as fact in the first reading. “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” And in the Psalm we read: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
These things are beyond human comprehension, so the psalmist adds: “By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.” The second reading puts it another way: “And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.”
Anyone seeing the state of Christianity in nineteenth century France might have thought it impossible for the Church to survive, given the hostility that surrounded it, and the tepid faith of many within it. But, like the Apostles who “with great power bore witness to the resurrection of Christ,” the Mother of our Lord, with great tenderness, called her people to reconciliation and a conversion of heart, through a faithful return to prayer and the Eucharist.
Today’s Gospel story about Thomas is a reminder for us not to take our faith for granted, but rather to cherish it as the greatest and most beautiful of gifts. Yes, Jesus can pass through the locked doors of indifference, complacency, pride, despondency, etc. But do we really wish to put ourselves in that position?
Jesus mercifully took the initiative to restore Thomas to his rightful place among the Apostles. Then he pronounced a Beatitude: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” That was for us.
The goal is beautifully expressed in today’s Opening Prayer: “that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed.”
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.