Reflection for Second Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy Sunday (C) – April 28, 2019
It seems spring has finally sprung on campus. The sun has been shining so brilliantly lately, the tulips are in bloom, birdsong fills our ears, and the trees budding even slightly are tangible reminders to us of God’s promise of freshness and new life. Above all else, Easter has arrived. Christ is Risen, and as His Easter people, we sing Alleluia from morning to night. The new face of creation which we see during this spring season is a fitting mirror for us in our new liturgical season, for there is deep joy and newness in our hearts as well. Christ’s triumph of life over death has been planted within us and with God’s grace, will continue to grow and bloom until Pentecost and beyond. These seasons within us and outside of us are filled with beauty and light, and in that light, we are led to gratitude. However, now that we are in the final stretch of the semester, we may simply feel too inundated by our remaining tests, papers, and tasks to sing Alleluia. We may feel like quite the opposite of a light and praise-filled people some days. As we race against time and deadlines, we can forget so easily that Christ is Risen and that all will indeed be well. Yet God in His mercy helps us never to forget. In the Gospel, Jesus went to His disciples who were in fear and said repeatedly, “Peace be with you.” He says the same to us again and again, in whatever state we find ourselves: “Peace be with you.” In the quiet of the night, or at the break of dawn, or in the bustle of midday, He says to us, “Peace be with you.” He draws close, shows us His wounds, and He welcomes us to show ours to Him, too. Whether or not we are like Thomas some days, who insists he must see in order to believe, Christ still comes to us. May we hear these words of peace from the Lord, so that our minds, hearts, and eyes remain open to the beauty of this season, and so that filled with trust, we, too, can exclaim with Thomas, “My Lord and My God.”
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 Christ is ris'n today, Alleluia! Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia! Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia! Unto Christ our heav'nly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia! Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
Sing we to our God above Alleluia! Praise eternal as his love, Alleluia!
Praise him, all ye heav'nly host, Alleluia! Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!