Reflections - April 8, 2018

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”.  Jn. 20:30.
On this Second Sunday of Easter the Gospel of John tells us about two events of faith.  In the first event, Jesus appears to the apostles and “breathed on them the Holy Spirit” with the sacramental mandate to forgive sins to all those who repent and believe in the Lord alive and risen.  The second event of faith is the encounter with Thomas, one of the Twelve also known as “doubting Thomas – the doubter of faith”.  The Lord shows him His sores and His side and says to him:  “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”.
What was the meaning of faith that the Lord wished to manifest in the Apostles and in each one of us after the resurrection?  It was to increase our faith in Him and in His divinity and to give witness of life.
This Paschal experience of faith produced in His disciples and followers a change of life.  Now it wasn’t was they though or said, but their way of living “in a coherent manner” the faith in Jesus.  “Look how they love one another” Acts 2:47.  The disciples tried to live the faith as resurrected people with their scale of values.  They had no need to theorize about Jesus.  They just mimicked the Lord’s life and family, with the help of prayer, in the middle of the Synagogue and the Roman Empire to the point of giving their lives for Christ as many Christians still do today in the Middle East and Africa.  Did you know that this is happening at this time in some countries?
The testimony of faith also moves in others to make changes, repent (Confession, Baptism). Remember:  “An example is worth more than a thousand words”.
Another gift of faith expressed to the disciples of Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit was to recognize the signs of the times in which they had to live and to overcome with the help of the Risen Christ those forces of evil that acted against man and that today as well continue dehumanizing.  Examples being worldly values of power, prestige, corruption and violence, which often live in our social environment and have nothing in common with the living and risen Christ.
Let us pray to the risen Lord in the Eucharist for the grace to awaken in us the “compassion and faith” to live in our community as a testimony of life and power of goodness, truth, and justice that Jesus, living and risen, brings us.  Amen.