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 said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Thomas was not with them when Jesus came. So the 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 my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not doubt, but believe.”
While we are steeped in this natural life, it is difficult for us to come to terms with resurrected life. This was part of Thomas’ problem: he was seeking tangible proofs—seeing and touching—to come to belief, but the resurrected life of Jesus is a new life is beyond tangible proofs. We receive this new life trough Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit. We know the fruit of this new life is peace and forgiveness. But how do we come to belief without seeing? Jesus’ ministry is continued in the disciples. Seeing these works is seeing Jesus. Seeing these works brings us to belief. More importantly, our doing what Jesus did, brings us to belief. Believing isn’t seeing; it’s doing the good works of Jesus. (Living Liturgy, p.112)
Vincentians see the crucified everyday in the streets of large cities and in poor country villages. One of the great gifts of St. Vincent was the ability to recognize the crucified Christ in the face of the suffering and to mobilize the energies of others in their service. He was an extraordinary organizer. To aid the most abandoned of his time, Vincent gathered together rich and poor, women and men, clergy and lay. Our meditation on the crucified Lord, who loves us even to death, and on the crucified peoples in whom the Lord continues to live, will always be brightened by resurrection faith. The gospel proclaims loud and clear that suffering love triumphs, that the power of God works through human weakness, that the light overcomes the darkness, that there is hope even in the face of hopelessness. (Maloney, Seasons in Spirituality, p.59)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
How has “doing the good works of Jesus” brought you to belief?
Lord Jesus, your resurrection brought forgiveness to the disciples,
-fill us with your peace!
For the grace “to do your good works”,
-fill us with your strength!
For the grace to forgive and to be forgiven,
-fill us with your compassion!
For the grace to be witnesses to your resurrection,
–fill us with your joy! Amen