2nd Sunday of Easter
Acts 5:12-16 Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19 John 20:19-31
People long for “a sure thing,” concrete proof that they can see and touch. The healing of the sick, in the reading from Acts, is surely concrete proof of divine action. But just as Jesus, wanted people to see more than the immediate healing of ailments, when he healed the sick, Peter and the apostles are also given the gift of healing the sick to lead the people to God. There is more to illness than the body; Peter and the apostles, and indeed all in ministry today, are charged with the healing of souls. That’s where we must make a leap of faith, because we can’t see or touch the healing of souls, but we must know it in our hearts. We do not see, yet we must believe.
The second reading, from Revelation, draws on many images that resonate with those who are familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. The author has a vision of heaven, a vision given only to him. He is commanded to testify to Jesus Christ, the risen Lord who now dwells in heaven, who has conquered death and sin for all time. We are called, in faith, to believe his testimony. We do not see, yet we must believe.
John’s Gospel places us with the disciples, behind a locked door, hiding, whimpering, fearful. Yet Jesus Christ comes to us, because Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows that we have the ability to spread the word of salvation, to be the church of Christ on earth. So he comes and bestows on us the great power of the Holy Spirit, the power that will build the church, the power that will spread the word. But not everyone was there, not everyone believes. Thomas needs more; he needs concrete proof. So Jesus comes back, because Thomas needs to see him. Jesus loves Thomas, and invites him to deepen his faith. So, too, Jesus Christ invites all of us to a deeper faith. Some of us may need miracles or signs and wonders to believe. But many of us have been given the gift of faith without the need to see for ourselves. Let us help each other come to deeper faith in the resurrected Lord.