Reflection on the Gospel of John 20:19-31, Second Sunday of Easter, April 24, 2022

Doubting Thomas Sunday

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, 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 the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, 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. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt 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 come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Let us Pray: Today let our faith guide us and not let the doubts creep in. Guide us to follow in the way of your risen Son. To care for others not with just words but with acts of love, seeking to be more like your son Jesus. We offer you our prayers in the Name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.

It now has been two years since I published my first reflection. It has been a long and trying two years with its ups and downs and unknowns. This Sunday is also known as doubting Thomas Sunday, it has its ups and downs also. Thomas was not there when Jesus first showed Himself to His disciples.  “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”  We know the disciples had reservations, it wasn’t only Thomas, they had some fear and misgivings. So how are we supposed to fully believe and understand when we didn’t have the privilege to be with Jesus. Sort of like today we all need to believe that the things that have happened are God’s work, and the belief comes from our faith, our faith that we can believe in God, and His son Jesus. As we read the Gospel for this week, we can share those disciples’ feelings. They felt isolated from others because they were also afraid, afraid if they went out what the consequences would be, is it fear that makes us hide when we are afraid or we don’t understand what is around the next corner?  Or is it a lack of understanding or are we hiding so we don’t have to see and face the pain of others. When we do not feel comfortable in our faith, do we let our faith falter? How do we face the unknown, the unknown of what the future is going to bring? We know that God, who gave us his Son, gives us promises of delight in life after this difficult and long period of grief. Life has slowly started to return to a new normal it is like a resurrection and new life in moments that will be both large and small. We must remember: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. The words that God so loved the World should give us Hope for the future. The knowledge that God loves this world, and he made a promise that he would not again destroy the earth. We get to see that promise anytime we see a rainbow. It has been a long two years and no one knows when things will fully return to some sort of normalcy. As spring starts to wrap its arms around the world our hope and faith should wrap its arms around each of us. We just need to thank God for all He has given us and truly exercise our faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Until than thank the Lord you are safe, and you can look forward with lots of Hope. Peace be with you.

Let us Pray: Holy God, you have called us to follow in the way of your risen Son, and to care for those who are our companions, not only with words of comfort, but with acts of love. Seeking to be true friends of all, we offer our prayers on behalf of the church and the world, And in the name of your Son Jesus Christ.  AMEN

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