Homily from Sunday April 24th 2022: 2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy)
None of the circumstances outside of that locked room in today’s Gospel reading changed after the apostles received the peace that Jesus offered them. They still had to face the same situation they faced before He entered the locked room. They still had to face the authorities. They still had to risk going out into the streets. They still had to face the crowds who crucified Jesus. The change occurred inside the room and inside them. He gave them a strength and peace which they could not generate on their own.
If you or I were in Thomas’ position and our friends were in mass hysteria, claiming that someone who is, very, very dead, and very, very buried–was alive. You and I would probably feel what he felt.
There are two approaches to doubt. One may see it as a lack of faith, but to doubt is to ask questions, and it should be that way, not a cynical withdrawal. We look for evidence as Thomas did. Thomas could be called the patron of those who want a second opinion, and he comes out all the stronger for his doubting.
Thomas was struggling to find meaning in is hour of loss. Such doubts and questions of faith are exposed at the time of death for all of us. After a grave-side experience nothing is the same for both the living and the dead.
Whether your faith is that there is or isn’t a God, if you don’t have any doubts, you are either kidding yourself or you are asleep: Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving. Thomas has done us a great favour by showing us that it is all right to admit our doubts, to seek answers and reassurance.
Nothing in nature will tell you that you are loved, forgiven, cherished, or called to eternal life. For that you need the (Word made flesh) The Risen Lord was not so much impressed with Thomas as he is with us, who still struggle to believe. He says of us (Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe).
With those few words Jesus defined for all time what it means to be a Christian in the real world, (where the rubber meets the road.) If at any moment we wonder where we stand as followers of Christ, he has given us the only measure we need, a few simple questions.
- Do I bring healing to others? By caring and accepting them.
- Am I a reconciler? Helping people to value one another more deeply.
- Are the texture and fabric of my community and family richer and fuller because of my ways?
- Am I a builder? Do I listen to others – or dismiss them. Is this place more because I am here?
God has put the Kingdom in our hands and has given us the power of forgiving and healing – (the only power that can bring the Kingdom to completion.)