Gospel Reflection Apr 28 – Msgr Hendricks
April 28, 2019
Sunday, April 28
Second Sunday of Easter
John 20: 19 – 31
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!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Easter Sunday continues with another appearance of Jesus and this time it is to the apostles huddled in the “upper room,” with the doors locked fearing that what had happened to Jesus might happen to them. The fear that has taken over their lives has imprisoned them, and they cannot even go out to be with their loved ones.
What the Risen Lord does here is to take the fear away and to send them yet another gift, the Holy Spirit to change their fear into courage and to restore their faith in him and in themselves. It is from this encounter, (and it takes two visits of the Risen Lord) to give them the energy of the mission to spread to the world, and first to the temple in Jerusalem that he is indeed alive and wants us to be alive with him forever.
This Sunday also marks what St. John Paul instituted for the entire Church called Divine Mercy Sunday. Calling on St. Faustina, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet the Church celebrates the everlasting mercy and forgiveness of the Lord in our lives. This devotion takes place throughout the diocese in various parish churches normally at 3 pm.
Easter Season is the time when the Church celebrates for 50 days, the Resurrection of the Lord, a new life after physically death that has been promised us because of His salvific death, a death conquering both sin and death.
Like Thomas in the gospel today may we have the courage and faith to say about Jesus the Risen one, “My Lord and My God.”