Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.
1 John 5:1-6
Beloved: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth.
Gospel Cycle Cycle B
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 Lord and my God!” The words of the apostle, Thomas, are really a strong witness to the belief of the early Church: Jesus is God and man. Thomas, who is presented to us as a man having great doubts about any faith in Jesus after his crucifixion, now becomes a patron for all of us who would like further proof that Jesus is God.
The Gospel sounds so convincing in its approach to understanding Jesus, yet we can be certain that not all of the followers of Jesus were able to accept his Resurrection! Rather, we need to recognize that this Gospel was written to help those of us who already believe. The Gospels are written within the early Christian community to hand on the beliefs that had become clear to that community.
Thomas the Apostle is given to us as an example of someone who was really hard-headed in his refusal to believe after the death of Jesus. He wanted absolute proofs—and finally he got them.
In the early Church it was not easy to be admitted among the believers. We see this happening right way: the Christian community wanted only committed men and women. As Christianity became more established, people belonged to the Christian community who were not so committed. This is a normal process and can be identified with sociological studies.
For us, however, the challenge is how to deepen faith and strengthen our commitments. How do we strive to form a community similar to that described in today’s first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles. It is not likely that such communities can really last very long! But we Christian can strive to become one heart and one mind so that the power and compassion of Christ can be seen in the world.
Married couples know how difficult it is to work together, even with just two people! Learning how to respect differences and honor one another is not easy. How much more difficult in a larger community!
It is only faith that can bring us closer together in this way. Here I am not speaking about supernatural faith, but a simple faith that people can community, can listen to one another and can respect one another. When those presuppositions are not there, it is really impossible to live in communities. The second reading, from the first letter of John, speaks to us about faith
Perhaps later today, we can read these readings once again and try to understand how it is possible that humans can communicate at all! Perhaps we can wonder what kind of proof we expect from God about His existence and about His love! Perhaps we can recommit ourselves to looking for Christ, to strive to live in His way and to find a way to live with one heart and one mind with other people.