Gospel – April 19, 2020 – John 29:19-31
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.
One of the most recognizable Gospels is that of how difficult it is to abandon ourselves to faith – to believe with no proof.
We’ve seen it in life. People refusing to believe in the death of someone even after any chance of survival and then they return. There are so many examples. Children lost for days, years, only to return to a mother who never gave up hope.
Today there is the story of US. We are all Thomas at times. We all have doubts. We struggle. How many times have we asked for a sign – just let us know you’re there God. Even after we know he said he is always there. What a relief it would be to stick my fingers in the holes in his hands, my hand into the wound in his side.
But that’s not what I’m called to do. I’m called to have faith as Paul wrote to the Hebrews (11:1) – the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.
I am called to be one of the blessed – who have not seen but STILL believe.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…