2nd Sunday of Easter - Year C - 3rd April, 2016

Love Has No End

Last   Sunday’s gospel finished with the disciples realizing that Jesus was not in the tomb, that he was no longer among the dead. Where then can he be found? This Sunday’s gospel answers this question for us.

Initially it seemed that the darkness of Calvary  had silenced  the good  news,  that hatred had choked the life out of love, and that death  had claimed  the ultimate  prize. Today many of us experience moments  of Calvary   darkness   and  feelings   of rejection. Then, through  closed doors, into the  room  of fear,  comes  the  Risen  Lord. He shows  the wounds  of rejection  but his greeting   is  full   of  peace   and   his   very breath  bestows   the  Spirit  of  forgiveness and divine love.

It is important  for us to note that Jesus appears  to  the  community gathered  on  a Sunday,  they  rejoice  at his  presence  and experience  through   him  the  gift  of  the Holy  Spirit  and are given  a mission,  sent just as Jesus himself  was. That is as good a summary  of  what  Sunday  Eucharist  is all about  as you will ever find. Joy in the presence  of the  risen  Lord  who  gives  us his peace so that we can continue  his task of revealing  God to the world.

The  early   church   fully   understood  this and  saw  themselves as  totally  dependent on the presence  of the risen  Lord  among them.  They  stood  out  among  their  own people because of the witness that they offered.  They impressed  people with their care   for  one  another   and  their prayerfulness.

Thomas  was missing  on that first Sunday and  his  refusal  to believe  means  that  the following   Sunday   they   need   to  gather again,  and once  again  as a community of faith they encounter  Christ among them.

There is a Thomas within all of us, wanting to believe, but sometimes finding faith difficult. The final words of Jesus in this Gospel  reach  past  Thomas  to us,  as  Jesus pronounces blessing for those who do not see and yet believe.

 We note that the four strengths of that early church were:

*  fidelity to the teaching of the apostles;

*  a sense of community, sharing and responsibility for one another;

*  a common celebration of the Eucharist;

*   personal daily prayers.

A good strategy for all of us as we seek the presence of the Risen Lord. St John  reaches across time to us when he writes, 'These things are written that you may believe'.

Fr Kevin O'Shea, C.M.