When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then 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.”
When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told 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 in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Our relationships one with another are crucial because it is only in relationship that the words of Jesus come alive in our world. It is only through our role as witnesses of the resurrection, witnesses of forgiveness and peace, that the transforming message of Jesus takes flesh here and now. It all began with Jesus and the apostles in the upper room. Down through the centuries, through an amazing cast of characters whom we designate as sinners and saints, the good news about Jesus has come finally to you and me.
And, while each of us has wonderful heroes and mentors, my guess is that most often our faith is shaped and strengthened by very ordinary people just doing their job, going about their daily business. But isn’t that the point — this business of living the gospel is all about you and me, and how each day we throw in our lot with Jesus of Nazareth, alive and risen!
So just how do we spread the peace and forgiveness of Jesus? Perhaps it will be in the aisles of a supermarket or in a meeting at work; perhaps on an iPad or out on the street; perhaps in the process of enduring a difficult illness or family challenge; or maybe as we spend time with someone who needs words of challenge and hope.
In any of these situations, you and I are witnesses to Jesus: we are the Church alive and active in the midst of our world. Thus our actions do count; our ongoing attitudes and daily decisions do matter. Let us not run from the invitation Jesus offers today. In terms of today’s gospel, let us not persist in our unbelief, but believe.
One final thought: notice that the only place Jesus allows people to touch him after the resurrection is in his wounds. So could it be that Jesus still invites us to touch his wounds?
Could it be that Jesus touches our own wounded-ness through one another? Could it be that Jesus uses our very wounds to mend and heal the brokenness of our world?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord, while we may be able to conceal our wounded-ness even to those closet to us, you know exactly where we struggle. We pray for your healing so we can be freed of anything that holds us at a distance to those we love. We pray for your healing so we can share in the joy and peace you so much want for us. And, Lord, heighten our sensitivity and show us the best way to be present to others wounded in body or spirit.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!