Second Sunday of Easter John 20: 19-31
‘Doubting Thomas’: ‘The Forthright One’.
Easter Sunday Evening the Disciples were locked in behind closed doors for Fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood amongst them. How the people of the Ukraine would love to be locked in safely behind closed doors, as I write, but they have to risk fleeing the terrible war, which has been visited upon them.
The Disciples are scared of the Jews for they have openly been seen in the company of the Preacher, the Rabbi from Nazareth. Their ‘Rabboni’ had moved around Galilee & Judea teaching, preaching and healing many people.
The days following the Procession from Bethfage into Jerusalem were horrendous for Jesus and His disciples, culminating in his cruel, brutal death as a criminal on a Cross.
Traumatised, wounded, bewildered from all that was done to their Master, they sought refuge behind closed doors. Can we open our ‘closed doors’ to the women and children fleeing genocide, famine, civil war, natural disasters??? Can we???
Suddenly Jesus stood among them. Jesus speaks Peace: ‘Peace be with you’. He shows them his hands and his feet. The Disciples are overjoyed, recognising Him by His wounds. Peace or Shalom speaks of a profound cosmic reality, not something superficial.All the Disciples, except Thomas, were present. On hearing the surprising news, Thomas said very clearly, ‘Unless I can put my finger in his wounds and my hand into his side, I will not believe’.
The following Sunday, the Risen Lord appeared again in their midst, through doors still locked. He repeated the same Eastern Greeting, ‘Peace be with You’.
He called Thomas and said ‘Put your finger in the wounds in my hands, and your hand in my side and doubt no longer but believe. Thomas exclaimed ‘My Lord and My God’. No other person in the Gospels made such a profound affirmation of who Jesus is.
Jesus affirmed Thomas still further by saying ‘You believe now because you can see: happier still are those who have not seen, yet believe.’ That’s us!!
The same Thomas went on to become a great Missionary Preacher. As far as we know he travelled around present day Afghanistan and Iran and possibly reached India. It is said he founded India’s first Church around 52 AD.
Catherine Campbell, O.P.