Readings for Easter 2:
Monday: Acts 4. 23-23; Psalm 2; John 3. 1-8
Tuesday: Acts 4. 32-37; Psalm 93; John 3. 7-14
Wednesday: Acts 5. 17-26; Psalm 34. 1-8; John 3. 16-21
Thursday: Acts 5. 27-33; Psalm 34. 15-22; John 3. 31-36
Friday: Acts 5. 34-42 Psalm 27. 1-6, 13, 14; John 6. 1-15
Saturday: Acts 6. 1-7; Psalm 33. 1-5, 18-22; John 6. 16-21
Firstly, many thanks to those who worked to prepare and decorate our churches to celebrate the most important day in our Calendar.
The flowers are signs of new life and we appreciate the skills used to display them so effectively.
Saint Thomas the apostle has three ‘speaking parts’ , all in St John’s gospel. The first is in chapter 11, when Jesus hears the news of Lazarus’ death and resolves to go to Bethany, where the Jews had tried to stone Him. Here Thomas says ‘Let us also go, so that we might die with him, ‘ a mark of loyalty not cynicism. Then in the passage in Chapter 14 where Jesus explains that he is going away to prepare a heavenly home for his followers it is Thomas who asks ‘Lord we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way’? and receives the answer ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’.
The third part, which is in tomorrow’s gospel is when Jesus appears to the disciples when Thomas is absent and bestows on them the gift of the Holy Spirit. Remember always how much of a shock the Resurrection of Jesus is – and Thomas refuses flat out to believe them when they say ’we have seen the Lord’ and demands physical proof for himself. A week later that proof is offered – but instead of following Jesus’ invitation to touch the wounds of Jesus himself he responds ‘My Lord and my God’. The ‘crunch’ line follows, addressed to us and to those listening to this gospel for the first time sixty or so years later: ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have come to believe’ and then comes the first ending of John, proclaiming Jesus and Messiah, the Son of God.
We are each called to a faith seeking understanding and to grow and develop our faith but at the same time faith is about trust – the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11.1). Thomas’ initial disbelief translates into acceptance and a deep faith and we are likewise called to the same.
May faith in the risen Jesus grow strong in us all.