Pondering for Sunday, April 24, 2022

Eucharistic Readings for the Second Sunday of Easter: Year C

Acts 5:27-32; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31; Psalm 118:14-29 or Psalm 150:

 “But Thomas (who was called the Twin – also Didymus) one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” (John 20:24-25a)

We know that of the twelve, Judas has died.  All the rest, the eleven, now stayed together. Most of their time, after the resurrection, it is revealed that they huddled together in a room behind a locked door. The writers make that point to let us know that the door was locked but the Resurrected Jesus appeared within the room anyway.

So why was Thomas not with them?  I recall Thomas as one who suggested that they all go to Jerusalem and die with Jesus; (John 11:16). So he was no coward.  Also Thomas was not afraid to speak up when Jesus made statements about his followers knowing where he was going. Thomas spoke up and said that in fact they did not know where he was going, and he wondered how could they know the way; (John 14:5).  This shows something of the character of Thomas.  He was a person of dedication, integrity, courage, and honesty about what he knows and does not know.  Perhaps he was tired of the weakness of the other ten.  He was tired enough to be away from them as they stayed locked up in their room.

Now these men who came out of their self imprisonment to approach Thomas with news of the Resurrection. Thomas doubts the people who also doubted the person who first brought the news to them, Mary Magdalene.  Yet they come to Thomas with the same words, “We have seen the Lord.”

Yes, Thomas does say that unless certain criteria are met he would not believe.  But maybe this was more about his relationship with the ten than a real doubt about the Risen Jesus.  While Jesus invites Thomas to touch him we don’t have it in writing that he actually does.  Just seeing Jesus was enough to see that the others were in fact telling the truth and Thomas proclaims Jesus as his Lord and his God. (John 20:28)

What does it mean for us today to hear “We have seen the Lord”?  I think whenever we are blessed enough to see something good happen, when it was against all odds, we have seen Jesus raised.  When we see life given back to someone who was dying, or a life saving operation, or an accident that could have been much worse, we have seen the Lord.  Jesus is made manifest in the many miracles that happen all around us.  And they are still happening all the time.

Sometimes, like Thomas, we are not so sure of the sources that report the miracles.  But we must remember, it’s really not about them, it’s about Jesus and his invitation to just believe even if we have not seen but have been told.  And because we have been told, and yet not personally seen, we believe, and so, are blessed.

I now look for our Lord Jesus in Ukraine as they stay huddled up, locked in, in national captivity.  I pray and believe, though unseen, that the Lord is with them.  Thank You Lord Jesus.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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