Second Sunday of Easter – Sister Shamani Mampande, SNDdeN
John 20: 19-31
April 11, 2021
It is the second Sunday after Easter. With joyful lips we all sing “Alleluia,” for He is risen indeed. He is full of mercy and comes to give us life, life in abundance, only if we believe that He is the Messiah. The gospel passage calls us to be the channels of peace. Jesus said, “Peace be with you…”, and by this phrase He took away fear from the disciples who were still in doubt whether He is risen or not. It was a polite way of greeting and reflects simplicity of heart.
The disciples had shut the door in fear. Thomas was among them this time. Despite the closed door Jesus was able to enter the house. As he looked at them, He was able to recognize the doubt in Thomas and He takes a step to help him believe. ln this we can see the power or wisdom of God. As disciples of Christ today we are encouraged not to be afraid, for the Holy Spirit is upon us and blessed are we who believe without seeing for we know that great is our reward in Heaven.
God is merciful and He calls us to be merciful as He is. God’s mercy is infinite, priceless and open to ALL. It is through this mercy that we are forgiven for our sins. In the same manner because this same mercy is granted unto us, we are to forgive our brothers and sisters as many times as we can. There is great joy in embracing mercy in oneself, family, community or nation. A merciful heart is loving, forgiving, joyful and peaceful. Today the world is sick; there are murder, corruption, injustice and family separation due to a lack of mercy. If God were to punish us according to our sins, surely who could stand?
The Church in her wisdom has given us some means to show this mercy practically through the corporal works of mercy. These are: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, visit the sick and bury the dead. Not only that, there are spiritual works of mercy and these are: admonish sinners, instruct the uninformed, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, be patient with those in error, forgive offenses and pray for the living and the dead.
Filled with the Holy Spirit we are able to do wonders in Jesus’ name. Not even corona virus can substitute for the word of God; it endures forever. In this spirit we can join the psalmist in giving praise to the Lord, for God is good and God’s mercy endures forever.
Yes, we are keeping our doors shut just as the disciples did – and in fear too. We can look toward our role model, St Julie Billiart at the time of her paralysis. Twenty-two years in pain is not an easy thing. She kept her faith and found God’s goodness in everything and everywhere. We have been experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year and our hearts are filled with fear. Let us always open our hearts and allow God to take control. He is so very good all the time. God will never leave us alone.
Through the intercessions of St Faustina Kowalska may God heal and cleanse the world.
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.
The Gospel of the Lord