Second Sunday of Easter

Sunday April 8, 2018
Second Sunday of Easter
(Or Sunday of Divine Mercy)
Lectionary: 44

Reading from the Gospel according to John
Jn 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.

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Second Sunday of Easter

In today’s Gospel the Disciples experience Jesus’ real presence after His Resurrection. He invites us also to believe in His real presence among us. St. Francis de Sales notes:

Through faith God leads us to penetrate, understand and love divine truths that are revealed. An act of faith on our part is choosing to love God and the things of God. When we allow the mysteries of divine revelation to speak to us, our faith is strengthened.

When temptations against faith and the Church arise, do as you do with other temptations. Don’t argue at all with them. Place yourself at Our Savior’s feet. Tell Him that you are His, and want His help, even if you are unable to speak. Temptations against faith are trials like any other, and you must calm yourself. I have seen few people make progress without experiencing trials. So be patient. After the squall, God sends the calm.

Faith is brought to life by holy love. Without a doubt as long as we are in this life, the imperceptible movement of God’s love in us makes us holy. It is the Holy Spirit who pours this divine love into our hearts. As soon as trees are transplanted, their roots spread and are thrust deeply into the earth that nourishes them. Only later, when we see the tree continue to grow, do we notice that their roots are spreading and being nourished by the earth. Similarly, by divine love, a heart can be transplanted from things that are not of God to things of God. If this heart earnestly prays, it will surely continue to reach out and attach itself to God’s goodness that nourishes it.

Vivified by holy love, a living faith serves God. As a faithful servant it does all that it knows and recognizes is pleasing to God. Let us be servants also of God’s love just as the Apostles and early Christians were. In this way we will give witness to Jesus’ presence among us, as a living community of faith, hope and holy love.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales.)