Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Fear of Thomas!

[On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  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." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to 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 into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!
(John 20: 19-23).
 This was the Gospel's reading in both Byzantine and Roman Catholic Churches this past Sunday April 27 2014.  Friday April 25, it was Fr. Georges Farah who gave an impressive lecture on the meaning behind this reading.  Georges Farah said: The Gospel is the word of God that can be seen in multiple dimensions. It is a historical reality that after his Resurrection Jesus came to the disciples and gave them his peace. It is a historical reality that  Thomas doubted it. But it is also the story of fear in men and women who constantly need the risen Jesus Christ to come in and give them his peace. While we are full of fear in the closed room and our doors are locked, Christ  is the One who enters In  our being in spite of the locks, approaches us and invites us to communicate with him and live in the joy of Easter. We are Thomas in our doubts that there is no life for us with  the risen Christ beyond this life. We are Thomas that sees the challenges of science as too overwhelming in the material world we increasingly live in that only science can save us here. We have forgotten the source of science who makes it possible that humanity advances in its limited awareness of him who creates all from nothing.  We have forgotten the power of the Holy Spirit who guides the Church, the People of God.  God wants you and me to live and have joy eternally. He is full of compassion that he does not leave the disciples until he has strengthened them and poured the life-giving Holy Spirit in breathing the Spirit in them. We are the disciples in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and the entire world for we are afraid that God has forsaken us or will forsake us to the Devil. We are Thomas in North America and Europe because we doubt now the Christian faith we inherited. Yet Jesus calls and comes in the Eucharist every Sunday. In him there is no fear. In him there is only hope, faith, and, above all, love. Let's love each other and those who do not love us. Let us thank God for the canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II, great leaders of the faithful who served Christ. Their canonization as saints in the same Mass by Pope Francis and in the presence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is an important step in the direction of the unity of all in the Church. In spite of much resistance to the Spirit, we ask our loving God to unite us all in the global human family as we await the New Jerusalem in which he will be "all in all." 


Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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