Doubt – A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter

By Sister Natalie DeLuca, MHSH

Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118:2-3,13-15,22-24; 1Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31

The first reading for the Second Sunday of Easter is taken from the Acts of the Apostles and gives an almost picture-perfect word sketch of those first followers of Jesus: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common….With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus….There was no needy person among them….

Full of conviction, the second reading from the first letter of Saint John, gives us the key to this legacy: “And the victory that conquers the world is our Faith.  Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 

But the Gospel brings us back to the faith-struggle and gives us a reality check.

Remember when the risen Lord appeared to the disciples behind locked doors the first time? Thomas wasn’t there.  When he was told of the appearance, he was skeptical, to say the least!   Yes, he was still one of them—that motley group of followers, of weary fishermen, of common folk.  Thomas probably thought he would gather with these same believers to share memories, loss, grief, a need to mourn and to muster the courage and the will to “move on” in life.

It wasn’t going to be an easy task.  He seemed convinced his friends, perhaps stricken by grief, were imagining things.  The memory of a bloody Jesus, beaten and defiled filled his heart.  How could Jesus have stood in their midst and greeted them with “Peace”?  How could this be?   “We have seen the Lord.”  It was a declaration of certainty.  And no one could convince them otherwise.

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week goes by.  The disciples have gathered together again.  And this time Thomas—with all his doubts—was with them.  Locked doors were hardly a barrier for Jesus.  Again, Jesus stood in their midst and said: “Peace be with you.”  And then he turned 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.” 

“My Lord and My God!” Thomas replied with believing eyes and a humble faith. 

For reflection:

    • Where am I in my journey of faith? Skeptic? Infancy? Teen? Adult? Struggling believer
    • Faith does not preclude questions or even doubts.
    • Begin a dialogue with the resurrected Jesus about your faith journey.

 

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