Could it be that Thomas’ doubting was related to his being separated from the group? Could it be that our self-separating from others, especially the believing community, contributes to a weaken-ing of our faith? It is often suggested that it is the other way around: “I began to have doubts and so I stopped going to church.” Might it be that being out of communion, and the resulting loss of affection, has more to do with why we end up doubting? What Jesus does for Thomas’ separation and doubts is what he did for the other disciples’ fear. He gave him his peace. Jesus’ peace calms our fears and it brings us back in communion.
Then Jesus helps Thomas – and us – by putting us back in touch with the story. “Come, look at my wounds and remember.” Jesus doesn’t give Thomas – or us – a theology lesson for our doubts. When we are out of touch, out of communion, we tend to forget the story. We tend to no longer remember how he loved us. To remember is to be filled with gratitude and affection. When we let Jesus love us, we are no longer afraid, we know he is with us, and there are no more doubts. And then Jesus missions us. “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you re-tain are retained.” The Father has sent Jesus for the mission of reconciliation. With the gift of his peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are called to be people who forgive one another. If we don’t forgive, sins don’t get forgiven. So, we are called to be forgivers. We are called to the minis-try of reconciliation. We are called to be communion restorers and bridge builders. onlineministries. creighton.edu
Fr. Magill reflects on the experience of the frightened disciples meeting the risen Christ.
Easter is a seven week season of joy and grace. Starting with the Triduum in Holy Week and ending with Pentecost Sunday, this 50 day season has been called “the radiant centre of the liturgical year.” We keep celebrating so that we might continue to enter into the meaning of the resurrection and to deepen the way it touches our daily lives.
After Easter Week’s resurrection stories, the first reading for the rest of this long and glorious season is from the Acts of the Apostles. Every day we see how Jesus’ followers reacted to his death, the challenges to their witness and the unexpected courage that comes to them. John’s Gospel is used for the entire Easter Season, the one time of year we can enter into his poetic and layered stories on a daily basis.
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