Second Sunday of Easter (B)

In addition, of course, to our Lord, this Sunday another character draws much attention, I mean the good Thomas, Thomas the man full of doubts and dark, the stubborn man with a big heart. And you know, Thomas is not very different from you and me, he had put all his hope on Jesus. He left everything he had, his whole life, and followed Jesus for three years. He witnessed the Lord’s miracles, he was held spellbound by Jesus’ preaching, and he was certain that he would have an important place in that kingdom[1].

And then Jesus was arrested, and crucified. Everything seemed lost: the hope for the future, the conquest of the Kingdom of God, and worse than all this was that Jesus was lost to his closest friends. Thomas’ mourning was so great that he simply could not believe it when he heard the other disciples say that they had seen the Lord. It seemed like a cruel hoax, just re-opening the wounds of losing Christ. He would not believe them. What they were saying... was too good to be true!

But it was true. All that Jesus said was true, including his promise to rise from the dead. The Gospel does not record that Thomas touched Jesus’ hands and side as so many painting depict; just that Jesus offered them to Thomas. What the Gospel does record is Thomas’ immediate response, My Lord and My God, the same response all of us have when interiorly we pray before the elevated Body of Christ and Blood of Christ during Mass. I would think that Thomas did not need to touch the Lord. He only had to enjoy the presence of the Savior.

So what is the main point of this Sunday? What is the lesson we take home? Well, we all know many people who do not believe in the Lord simply because, like doubting Thomas, everything about the Lord seems too good to be true. So many people squander their lives on superficialities: their iPad is more important than their brother or sister, their hopes for the future revolve around money, and they become disappointed over and over again. There are people close to us who have put all their hope on a relationship that is not rooted in the Lord. “I thought this was the right person for me,” someone says, “and then she or he cheated on me, cheated on our marriage, or just dumped me for someone else.” Or, there are those who base all their hope on their work as a goal. So they say, “I thought this job, this career, this school, would be perfect for me, but it is not all”  So many people have been so disappointed throughout their lives that they can’t believe that something, Someone, could be better than they ever imagined...

So, the doubting Thomases of our world, those who doubt life, need us. They need us to tell them about Jesus Christ with our lives as well as with our words and deeds. They need us to explain how His Presence in our lives makes life so beautiful, so worthwhile. They need us to tell them about that weekend we spent on an ACTS retreat when we realized that we were happier than we have ever been[2]. They need us to tell them how we felt at our babies’ baptisms, and how we feel the times that we listen to our children pray, and the genuine pride we have in our and young adult.

When your friends ask you, “Why did you go to Church during Holy Week or every Sunday?” Or, simply, “Why do you take your faith so seriously?” Tell them, “I love the Lord, and I love having Him in my life. And every time I think that my life can’t get any better, He finds a way to make it better.”

There are a lot of doubting Thomases in the world. There are a lot of people who do not believe that the happiness of the Lord is offered also to them. There are a lot of people who do not believe that life can be better with the Lord. There are a lot of people who think that Christ is… too good to be true!

They need us. They need the experience of our happiness. They need us to point the way to Jesus Christ, so let's ask ourselves this Sunday at our time of reflection with Jesus what we do or what we are doing for others. Do I live such kind of life that all those around me feel the faith? May Thomas the Apostle, that man of great faith and great heart, intercede for us, and may we very often say: Lord increase my faith! ■

[1] Sunday 15th April, 2012, 2nd Sunday of Easter. W. Acts 4:32-35. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting—Ps 117(118):2-4, 15-18, 22-24. 1 John 5:1-6. John 20:19-31.
[2] Through the ACTS retreats, ACTS Missions provides the spark that ignites Catholics, worldwide, with the true eternal flame of the Holy Spirit. As an instrument of God, ACTS is the light that will bring about New Evangelization to the entire world by fostering love and true discipleship, leading others to a commitment and obedience to Our Lord Jesus Christ by our every word, action and thought.

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