Second Sunday of Easter (c)

On this Second Sunday of Easter, we always hear the Gospel of Doubting Thomas proclaimed, and this Gospel always leaves me two main questions: “Why do we have doubts?” and, “Why do we have faith?”[1].

I know that doubting is part of being a human being, but I am still shocked when I read that not only did the disciples doubt the Lord during His ministry on earth and during His Passion, they even doubted Him after the Resurrection. And it wasn’t just Thomas[2]. Why did they doubt? What are the causes of these doubts?

A far more troublesome source of doubts comes in all our lives when we enter into periods of crisis: Where was God when a child, Teen or young adult you knew and loved died? Or, where was God when you prayed for your Mom and Dad to stay together, and they still broke up?  Perhaps, the problem here is that we ask for help, and take it for granted that if God doesn’t intervene directly, He must not exist. Rather, I believe that God is present with us in crises. Sometimes our prayers are answered. But even when our crises result in death, failure or whatever, God is still present holding onto us.

We have faith not because we agree with rational arguments for faith, although these can help. We don’t have faith because we are stubborn when confronted by those trying to dissuade us, although it is a very good and very right to proclaim our faith to those who challenge us. We should be inflexible in our faith before those who question us. Perhaps we have faith because faith is all that we can hold on to when we are in crisis. That is a very good reason for faith, but the most important reason for faith is this: We have faith because we have experienced the Love of God in our lives as individuals and as a people. Think about this. We have faith because we have felt His Love within us at various times in our lives, usually when we least expect it. We have faith when we reflect on how pointless life would be if Jesus had not risen from the Dead and given us His Life gifted us with the Spiritual.

At the end of today’s Gospel we heard: Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name[3].

We have faith because Jesus has given us life. The tomb is empty, but our lives are full. Jesus Christ is our deepest love. His presence makes all life worthwhile. His presence is a guarantee of eternal life. His presence is a guarantee of eternal love. And, as Barlow Girls sing, we need Him to love us[4].

This Sunday is also called Divine Mercy Sunday. When we consider our human condition with all our doubts and with our need for faith, we have a deeper understanding that we live under the mercy of God

[1] Sunday 11th April, 2010, 2nd Sunday of Easter. Readings: Acts 5:12-16. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting—Ps 117(118):2-4, 22-27. Apocalypse 1:9-13, 17-19. John 20:19-31 [St Stanislaus].
[2] Cfr Matthew 28:16-20
[3] Jn 20:19-31.
[4] Barlow Girl is an American Christian rock–CCM band from Elgin, Illinois. The band is composed of sisters Alyssa Barlow (lead vocals, bass, keyboard), Becca Barlow (backing vocals, guitar), and Lauren Barlow (lead vocals, drums). The band has won several awards in their genre; their song "Never Alone" was the longest running #1 song in 2004 on Radio and Records Christian Hit Radio (CHR) and Christian Rock charts, and was the "Song of the Year" on both charts. BarlowGirl became the best selling new Christian artist of 2004.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris