April 28, 2019
We all know the Gospel story about the doubting of Saint Thomas.
In spite of the fact that the other apostles and some of the disciples told Saint Thomas that Jesus was resurrected, that he had appeared to them, Thomas refuses to believe.
When struggles and sufferings came for St. Thomas, he withdrew from the community and isolated himself. Thomas, as were all, was devastated by the death of Jesus.
When struggles and difficulties come, when we are filled with doubts and fears; it is very difficult to believe that all we are going through is God's plan for us on our journey to eternal life. We too, like Tomas, doubt.
Jesus comes again to the Apostles in hiding so that Thomas can come to believe. We see the great mercy and patience Jesus has for the doubter. And that is certainly true for each of us, even in those moments when we are like Thomas.
St. John's Book of Revelation, the second reading, was written in a time of great persecution of the new Christians. It was a time when struggles and sufferings were very prevalent in the church.
Saint John shared with Christians in their stress and sufferings that were taking place. But he tells the Christians to not be afraid. A voice lets him know that..."I am the first and the last. the one who lives. Do not be afraid."
Each of us needs to hang onto these words, especially in those moments when we are given the cross, the sufferings, the stresses, etc. which are a part of our journey to eternal life. Thomas came out of his isolation and returned to the community and there he too experienced the Resurrected Jesus
We too, need to pray for the grace to not isolate ourselves from the community, from the Church.
The first reading taken from acts of the apostles verifies that the Christian community was in great distress when they heard of the death of Jesus Christ. They, like us, were filled with fear when things did not go the way they thought they should go.
This first reading describes what happened to the disciples after Pentecost.
They began to understand that in the doubts and fears and struggles was where they would meet God. They began to take the message of Jesus to all the world, and without fear or doubt.
We, like those first Apostles and disciples, at moments, want a world without struggles or problems. We want a messiah who will take it all away now. What they came to understand from Jesus was that suffering and death are a part of the journey which leads to that eternal peace which we all long for. It will come, but probably not in the way that we expect.
Allelluia Christ is Truly Risen