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2nd Sunday of Easter 2014
Cycle A

First Reading
Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47

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. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Second Reading
1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 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.

Gospel Cycle A
John 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said 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.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

Doubting Thomas! We use that expression for a person who will not believe unless he or she has direct personal experience. There is something healthy about that kind of doubt at some levels in our lives. Most of us, however, recognize that we have to trust the word of others. There is just no way to verify everything personally. Our lives are built on a web of trust.

One of the challenges of the readings today is to form a community of trust and of love. The Acts of the Apostles tells us about the first followers of Christ. They worked to form a community of trust and of love. That first community was so striking that others became Christians at times because the saw the strength of that community in the way Christians treated one another.

The second reading, from the First Letter of Peter, is clear chosen to reflect on the passage from the Gospel of John which we are given today. First Peter says this: Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him.... Doubting Thomas simply could not believe unless he had his personal experience.

God is calling us today in Christ Jesus to form communities of trust and of love. We must be people who follow Jesus and whose word is trustworthy and whose actions reflect truth and faith.

Each of us has a tendency not to trust and not to believe. When we begin to encounter that reality in our lives, we can begin to reflect on the words of our Lord Jesus to the Apostle Thomas: Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

We must begin to find within ourselves those areas where we reject others, where we reject authority, where we reject the Church and where we trust only ourselves and our own point of view. As we begin to identify these realities in our lives, our spiritual struggle matures and we begin to sense how weak can be our faith and easily we can fool ourselves.

On the other hand, Christ rose from the dead and never condemns even Thomas with all of his doubts. Instead, Jesus promises to be with us in our distress. So we should not fear our brokenness and weaknesses. Instead, we want to be open when Jesus appears to us and shows us the truth. Let us walk this day, seeking truth, seeking to believe more profoundly -and delighting in the Resurrection of our Lord. He calls each one of us personally and accepts us as we are. He only waits for us to turn to Him. Let us rejoice in the Risen Lord! He has risen and so we have life. Alleluia!