April 12, 2015 - 2nd Sunday of Easter

posted Apr 10, 2015, 5:18 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:28 PM ]

Gospel of John 20: 19-31

Alfred’s Reflection

When I was an undergrad at Cal, I created a student orientation class and that class has been offered by volunteers every fall for over twenty years. A number of people from St. Anne's Youth Ministry have gone to Cal, attended that class, and facilitated that class. The class has grown and thrived over the years in ways that I couldn't imagine when it first started.

Back when I was in grad school to get a master's degree, I helped create student group that was active for a few years. Then, it was gone a few years after the my friends graduated.

What was the difference between the two? People cared enough about the class that they passed on the responsibility to care for it to the next group of students and repeated that for many generations of student. The student group burned brightly for a short time, but came to an end when there was no one to pass it on to.

Two thousand years ago, our young church could have died with Jesus on the cross. The disciples could have so scared, so scarred, by sight of the mobs calling for crucifixion and the rough treatment that the Roman soldiers gave to Jesus on the way to Golgotha that they would have stayed in hiding. (I've watched The Passion of The Christ and I'd need a healthy dose of the Holy Spirit to make me risk torture and death.) The disciples could have failed to recognize the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus and in the locked room.

But, it didn't happen that way. The travelers to Emmaus did recognize Jesus after he broke bread with them. In today's Gospel, Jesus did appear in a locked room to show his wounds, wish peace upon his fearful followers, and to give the disciples the Holy Spirit to help them pass along Jesus' story to others and to the generations to follow. Jesus repeated the act a week later because Thomas wasn't in the room the first time.

For those of us who know today's Gospel well, I think we look down on Thomas. He didn't believe his spiritual brothers and sisters when they told him that Jesus was alive, that Jesus appeared to them and gave them a mission. We think that we wouldn't be Thomas. I think the question for modern-day Thomases isn't so much whether we believe that Jesus was resurrected, but more a question of what action we are willing to take because we believe. Our Roman Catholic Church has been around for two thousand years. What are we doing to pass on the stories, the practices, the traditions so that the Church is still thriving two thousand years from now? (Or to make sure we are ALL in Heaven if Judgement Day comes first?)

Maricel’s Reflection

In this gospel, the first phrase that stands out to me is "Peace be with you." This reminds me that God is always there to put our worries to rest. Upon Jesus' return he told his disciples "as the Father has sent me, so now I send you..." Jesus has always been a model of what he expects, and is one who leads by example. We are called to spread God's word and love just as Jesus did.

Thomas represents many people in our society who have doubts in their faith. He needed proof that Jesus came back. Often times, in today's world we seek evidence, logic and reasoning. However, God's wonder extends beyond that and often cannot be explained. Faith is believing without having to see. There is a constant invitation to stretch ourselves and put our faith in God.