Saturday, April 26, 2014

Have Not Seen and Have Believed

Second Sunday of Easter
Sunday of Divine Mercy 2014 A

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.  Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.  Acts 2:42-43

Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  1 Peter 1:8-9

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  John 20:29B

Our Piety is the life of the Lord that we have in the name of Jesus Christ. The mutual self-giving is the essence of Piety. We have life through the mutual self-giving of parents. We have the life of Christ through his dying for our salvation. Our giving our life back to Christ is the fulfillment of our freedom. God does not force his love on us. We face the love of Christ and for those who are to be saved the giving of Christ is found with our self-giving. Giving our life back to Christ makes our self-giving his life in us.  The early Church spoken about in Acts Ch. 2, 42-47 is the prime example of what is possible when all is shared in the name of Christ. The early Church was a challenging example of how Christians could love one another. They reflected the love God has for us in their reflecting the love Christ had for them.

Christ appears to the disciples behind the locked doors. It is easy to think about what we would do if suddenly someone that we thought dead was with us. We would need more than peace to get over the fright. The Christ of the Resurrection does not berate them for being slow to believe. He asks for some of the food they have and they see as the food goes down that it is really the Christ. Then they are able to think about the peace that he is offering them. Peace is the security they feel in his presence in their lives. He offers them forgiveness and at the same time he gives them the power of forgiving others. The words go down the centuries and they will not be forgotten. Christ is forgiveness. He gives us his life by offering us the chance to speak in his name. How easy it is to say the words. They are his words coming out of our mouth because he is the forgiveness of those words.

The wounds of Christ that brought belief to Thomas are unseen the source of blessings for most of us when we believe what he has done for us. His wounds live on in us as the source of peace in the lives of those we work with and for because the wounds of tiredness from the backbreaking work for our people are how they see Christ in us. Love is best seen in the price we pay to bring Christ into the lives of those we serve. Peace comes from our confidence in the Christ who is always with us. We are the unwritten signs of what the Christ of the Resurrection left undone for our work to be his love to the world. We must work in his name to share his peace with our world. 

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