Readings: Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47; First Letter of Peter 1:3-9; Gospel of John 20:19-31
We are celebrating the Passover of Christ, his resurrection from the dead, and today the Gospel shows us Christ in the midst of His disciples, not bound by time or space, but simply appearing in their midst.
Thomas the Apostle, though, is not present at this appearance of Jesus, and asks for proofs of the truth of the Lord’s resurrection. Thomas wants to see and touch the wounds of the crucified Lord, who is now proclaimed as risen and seen by various people.
It is not easy to accept the resurrection and difficult to grasp how it all came to be. Many today want proof like Thomas, wishing to reduce faith to the senses, what can be seen, what can be touched.
But we must recall that the deepest and most important dimension of our faith is the spiritual, which like love and faith, goes far beyond proof. Love does not seek proofs, but simply is. One gives and one receives it. Love is something everyone believes in, everyone hopes for, as Saint Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians.
In the same way, our faith, which may indeed grow as time goes on, is something we always desire more of. If our faith were something totally grasped and understood, it would be too small. God in his mysteries is always inexhaustible, never fully understood or completely explained, by the nature of being God.
Today in the Gospel Jesus praises those who believe without seeing. We must believe the same, that Christ for love of us went to the cross, handed over His life entirely, even to the last drop of His blood. And His love did not stop there, but led to the resurrection from the dead. God the Father’s work is complete now in the resurrection of Christ.
In the Book of the Song of Songs in the Old Testament we find a beautiful expression about love. There we read: “No one can extinguish love, because love is stronger than death” (chapter 8, verse 6). And in the cross of Christ we have the proof, because love triumphs over death by the power of the resurrection.
The new life of the risen Christ is not something to be put off until the next life, but meant to be lived here and now, in the Eucharist. Christ is offering us His very Body and Blood, which are the fountain of life eternal. Risen life that has been offered to me I can now receive.
It is a great act of faith to believe this, to accept and receive the risen Christ in a tiny piece of bread and in some drops of wine. I don’t see Christ, but I see bread and wine, yet therein we find the mystery: Christ is present in the simple form of bread and wine. I must go beyond the senses, through faith, which brings me to say and believe that it is Christ whom I receive, with whom I am in communion.