SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
1st Reading: Acts 5:12–16
Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s portico. None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them. Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them. Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
2nd Reading: Revelation 1:9–11a, 12–13, 17–19
I, John, your brother, who share with you the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus, found myself on the island called Patmos because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus. I was caught up in spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, which said, “Write on a scroll what you see.” Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest. When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld. Write down, therefore, what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.”
Gospel: 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.
TO BE FORGIVEN OR NOT: “Why go to confess to a priest, a human being like you?” This statement is heard among us, people arguing that only God forgives sins. A priest, a mere human being cannot forgive sins. Based on this, we should then confess directly to God and not through the priest. While the statement may sound correct, it overlooks the very divine position of the Risen Lord, the second person of the Holy Trinity. It is he who decided to give power to the disciples, to forgive sins. Through this commissioning, God imparted his power to the disciples; those whose sins you (disciples) forgive, are forgiven, and those whose sins you retain, are retained (Jn. 20:23). By passing on this power to the disciples, whose mission continues today through the priests, he set up a norm to be followed in order to obtain his mercy. Refusing the norm is refusing God’s infinite mercy.
Prayer: May all people accept and believe what your Church is teaching them about the resurrection of your Son, Lord.
THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION: Jesus the Lord of life continues to dispense God’s mercy after his death; He is truly alive. He continues to grant peace to His disciples revealing God’s might and love for humanity. Wherever Peter went, people brought their sick to him and they were all cured (Acts 5:16). With these apostolic acts of Divine Power, done in the name of Jesus, there was total proof of the resurrection reality, and of God’s mercy and love. This love and might continue today through the Church. The Apostles (Priests), through the Church continue to invoke Jesus’s name and signs and wonders happen. The celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacraments reveal that Jesus is alive. The resurrection of Jesus is a reality. Are we still in disbelief of the resurrection…What may are we looking for?
HEALED IN ORDER TO HEAL: Jesus allows the doubting Thomas to probe his wounds. These are the wounds that have been inflicted by a wounded humanity. They are now healed, for he is risen from the dead. Touching the healed wounds of Jesus helps the disciples to get their wounds and frustrations healed. The Risen Lord tells them that it is possible for wounds to be healed. This healing happens through faith. We may take different routes to the faith but what is important is that we all get there. Thomas gives us an example of how we can confront our faith struggles. When the struggle is over and we can now believe and confess that he is our Lord and God, then we shall help others in their struggles. We are commissioned to carry the presence of God through the world in our very being. Peter’s presence brings healing because he has been empowered by the Spirit of the Risen Lord. Many people are waiting for a sign of God’s presence. Can they perhaps look to Christians for some healing?