Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:24-29) See more readings for the Second Sunday of Easter
The great celebration of Easter is over, with its associated readings, devotions, and libations. If Lent is the time when we say ‘no’ for the Lord, Easter Week is the time when we get to say yes and yes and yes again for the Lord. In this way we train our souls to be rooted in the desire to please Jesus.
But all of this drama is over. The Church goes on with its life. The world moves on.
Jesus was killed by the Romans in a conspiracy with the Jewish political elites of the day. All of his followers believed that their cause was defeated, that the Kingdom of God was not breaking forth on earth. This was because they believed the world worked a certain way-uprisings, armies, power. These are the means by which the small people of first-century Judea were going to find salvation.
Yet in the midst of the sudden collapse of the hope for redemption, there appeared a kind of salvation never imagined.
A thing, unique in all history, a fact which sets the followers of Jesus apart from the world.
But the resurrection of Jesus does not seamlessly slot in to our existing worldview. It is a terrible thing, a violent overthrowing of our old hearts which are oriented toward death.
It’s not easy for the disciples. I think today I want to remember Jesus’ great compassion for Thomas, that he let his wounds be prodded so that they could belive in that the Kingdom of God was really overthrowing death and all evil in this world.
I know its a hard thing to believe. I think we who follow Jesus scream out ‘I will not believe unless I place my hands in his wounds!’ every time we choose sin over righteousness. On Doubting Sunday, I am reminded that Jesus does not flinch at these moments of faithlessness.
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery
established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all
who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body
may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.