FATHER DAVID’S POST OF 4/9/2021 — Thomas’ confession of faith in the Risen Christ comes at the conclusion of the Gospel that we will hear read in Church this Sunday (April 11th). The Second Sunday of Easter is Doubting Thomas Sunday. This is the Sunday when many clergy take their Easter break and place the responsibility of preaching this text on a parish associate or a supply priest. To be honest I am looking forward to preaching on this Gospel this week! Here is why and this might be a spoiler alert for what I might preach this weekend.
I begin with a question that I hope you will take to heart. How do you see yourself in the world today? By world I mean your view of the world that you live by. Take for example the disciples of Jesus that we read about this week in the Gospel of John — all of the disciples with two exceptions: Judas, who by the time of this lesson has died, and Thomas, who was not present that first evening following the resurrection of Jesus.
The remaining disciples are huddled together in the upper room where they had gathered with Jesus for the last supper, but now, instead of sharing a meal with their teacher and learning about the commandment to love one another, they gather in fear. Fear that the Jewish and Roman authorities would find them and arrest and persecute them as they did Jesus. Fear that Jesus would come back and judge them for denying and deserting him at the lowest point of his life.
The Risen Christ does come but does not judge. Instead, he says to them, in their fear, “Peace be with you.” Their fear melts away and they believe. For them their fear blinded them from being able to understand that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Thomas on the other hand was not there that first evening of the resurrection. He was, however, curious and open to understanding what happened to Jesus which we read in the lesson from Sunday. He touches the wounds of the risen Christ and his eyes and heart are opened, and he proclaims that Jesus is his Lord and God.
So, I ask you with whom do you identify with more? The disciples locked away in their own fear or Thomas who might appear to doubt but really is open to the possibility of Jesus’ being raised from the dead?
Will we be a people of fear who huddle together afraid of what the future holds for us or will we be curious and work together as a parish that proclaims the resurrection? Will we work together to bring about the Good News that Christ lives? I hope it will be the latter and that together we will work together to make it so through the Grace and Love of God of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alleluia, the Lord has Risen! The Lord has Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
Fr. David+, OA