St. Peter’s call to Jesus across the water offers us a number of aspects of fear as it appears in our hearts. From terror to doubt, from panic to illness…Christ comes and strengthens our faith so we can respond to his saving gift of grace.
St. Thomas is known for his doubts about the resurrection of Jesus. However, once he saw the Risen Lord he boldly proclaimed “My God and my Lord!” This very real portrait of Thomas inspires us in the midst of our doubts to draw near to Christ and proclaim the Good News in our daily lives.
John’s Gospel offers a glimpse at the division that occurs among the crowd – all who are trying to figure out who Jesus is – as doubt, isolation and discord rise to the surface. Division is part of our human experience; in light of today’s reading we have the opportunity to consider how we work to unite with one another in a spirit of peace.
Herod is perplexed. Who is Jesus? What is he about? What does it all mean? These questions continue to surface in the world today as people are confronted with the power of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ.
As questions swirl about who is Jesus the threats against his life continue to grow. The uncertainty – is he a prophet or even the the Christ – causes divisions and doubts among the leaders. As we encounter uncertainty in our own lives we look to the Lord for wisdom, strength, and guidance.
The disciples did not understand what Jesus said about his suffering and death, and they were afraid to ask for more information. Yet as they eventually would move from fear to faith we are inspired to face whatever confronts us this day – knowing that the Lord will help us every step of the way.
I continually marvel at the power of the Resurrection of Christ in the lives of the apostles. They are different people! Standing in the light of Easter, touching and speaking to the Risen Lord, they can’t go back – their lives are forever changed and empowered to proclaim Good News. Check this out:
1st Reading – Signs & Wonders performed by the Apostles
Psalm Response – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”
2nd Reading – John proclaims the Good News of Christ
Gospel – Jesus appears to his Disciples, and Thomas moves from doubt to belief
Note this: it wasn’t the miracles, healings, or teachings of Jesus that brought about this change. It was the resurrection; all these people who formerly followed Jesus are transformed into a new creation by the experience of the Easter. They are freed from fear and no longer bound by sin. Their lives are shot through with grace, mercy, peace, and joy.
I want this. I want this for every person I meet, for every person I know, and certainly for my own heart. To bask in the light of Christ raised from the dead – to know that God has built a bridge that covers the gap from our weakness to the glory of Heaven – is to live with a power and conviction that brings the Lord’s life to a world in need of Good News.
What needs to be healed in our lives?
How might we proclaim Good News to others?
How might we foster our faith in the Lord…and witness Easter joy?
Our faith is not a history lesson. Christ’s resurrection continues to bring change and renewal to our lives today. May we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Easter glory to shine in our lives.