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Following Thomas

by davesandel on April 11th, 2021

Second Sunday of Easter, April 11, 2021      (today’s lectionary)

Sunday of Divine Mercy

Following Thomas

I was hard pressed and was falling, but the Lord helped me. He has been my savior. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

What was Thomas doing while the other disciples huddled together? Did he have a second job? Was his family in need? Or maybe he was just out for a walk when Jesus appeared the first time. None of those reasons make much sense.

But he was gone. And so Thomas was set up perfectly to disbelieve. None of the other disciples believed any of the stories they had heard, at least not out loud. Late at night, sleeping into the dawn, I think their imaginations would have been more alive, and at least until they gathered together again, they would wait with baited breath to see their risen Master. Alone late at night they could believe in spite of themselves.

By the Lord has this been done. This is the day the Lord has made.

Thomas believed that Jesus would die, and he was loyal to his friend. “Let us also go to Jerusalem, that we may die with him” (John 11:16) But he couldn’t believe that he was alive again, not just raised from the dead and not just reborn spiritually, but reborn physically. Who could believe that?

Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world, and the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

All the disciples went into all the world, but Thomas went further than any of them, to India and perhaps China.  Twenty years after Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas labored day after day up roads from the western coast in southern India, founding churches. Twenty years more and there are testimonies of his death by martyrdom. He would always remember the words of Jesus.

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.

Jesus looked Thomas right in the eye.

Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

Jesus showed his disappointment, yes, but nothing would get in the way of his encouragement. His disciples left for the corners of the globe knowing the mercy and grace of their leader, poured out on them through the Holy Spirit. Each of them lost track of his own ego, each of them began living his own life of mercy and grace. God so loved the world.

The community of believers was of one heart and mind. No one claimed any possessions for their own but they kept everything in common. There were no needy persons among them, and great power and great favor was poured upon them all.

(Acts 4, Psalm 118, 1 John 5, John 20)

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