Pastor's reflection for weekend of April 7/8 (Jn. 20:19-31) If you are like me you may well sit in a comfortable chair at the end of a day, turn on the television and within 3-5 minutes you are falling asleep. You don’t really participate in the news you were watching - you have simply become a spectator.
Today’s gospel, which we often call ‘doubting Thomas’ challenges you and me as to whether we are spectators or participants in the events of Easter, the life – death – resurrection of Jesus. Is it is something that is now over until April 21 of 2019?
Picture the upper room. The disciples are scared! They have the doors locked! Are we next, they might be asking – are they coming after us! Jesus appears – Thomas is not present – the apostles tell Thomas we have seen the Lord and he won’t believe until he puts his hands and fingers in the wounds of Jesus.
A week later they are gathered together again with Thomas. The interesting line in the gospel is that it tells us they were again behind locked doors. If you’ve seen the Lord why would you still be behind the locked doors. And Thomas believes as he touches the wounds of Jesus. He no longer is a spectator – he is a participant in His wounds.
And so here’s the question: Is Easter over for us – or do we participate in the mystery of faith, four words we say every Eucharistic celebration. We can raise that question and think I should start volunteering for every committee. But perhaps we first acknowledge that we all do doubt and have fears. However, it is those doubts and fears that teach us that all we can eventually do is surrender in faith to God. We can only come back to one thing: faith!
It is easy to become bitter and cynical. “That’s the way it is!’ or ‘life was different when I was growing up!’ or ‘we’re headed for this, that and the other thing the way the world is going!’ But in the end the gospel is challenging you and me to say ‘yes’ to the world we live in. Jesus lived with many of the things we live with. We can stay behind locked doors or come out from behind them and participate in forgiveness. We can have better relationships if we surrender our judgments of others to God. In short we can go from spectator to a participants in the Easter mystery of life, death and resurrection.
Where does God want me to participate more in his resurrection. Do we fall asleep as we often do watching television or do we participate in the great hope and life that God offers us through the resurrection of Jesus.
Father Bob Kraig