We have completed 40 days of Lent in preparation for the celebration of Easter, our Lord triumphantly rising from the dead. Now we enter into a deeper learning and intimacy of our relationship with our God through his risen Son. Fifty days of growing and progressing in our faith in discerning what the scripture says; that he had to rise from the dead. A new application of the Second Sunday of Easter is the Divine Mercy. Eight days, or an Octave of our Lord’s death is today. Also, a celebration of God’s great mercy and forgiveness. For generations people had turned away from God, failing to respect the law or the prophets. Yet God sent us the Son, who took upon himself the sins of the world in order to redeem us all. You might say lent was our undergraduate work now that we have graduated, and, through faith and baptism, have answered the call to follow and be Jesus for the world. For the next 50 days with the coming of the Holy Spirit, we are to grow in our post-graduate degree and become masters of the Good News and carry that message out into the world.
The news of the Resurrection was a little unsettling for the disciples. They did not fully comprehend what it all meant. They probably felt more than a little guilty for abandoning him. They certainly feared what would come next. He greets them with “Peace be with you.” Soon Jesus will give them their mission, the power to forgive sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Poor Thomas. Not being there when Jesus appears the first time, he becomes “the Doubting Thomas.” We are all at one time or another Doubting Thomas's. Now is the time, in the midst of the crisis of the Coronavirus, to deepen our faith and trust in God in spite of all the unknowns. When will this be over? Will it come back again? Will there be a vaccine to protect us? There are no answers. That’s when our faith and trust in God comes in. “Blessed are those who have not seen, but believe.” Doing so, we will overcome the anxieties of our lives with the peace the Risen Christ brings.
Love, Peace, Joy