John 20: 19-31

To Believe

Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.

The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”

Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”

But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”

But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”

Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”

Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”

Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”

Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

Reflection

We’ve just celebrated Easter, where Jesus rises from the dead and gives us new life, and this reading helps us to understand that this isn’t an event that happened in the past, but that Jesus lives in our lives, just as he did for the first disciples.

It reminds us that after all the excitement of Easter, we mustn’t be fearful or embarrassed by our Easter faith, but to keep living it and let our strength come from the Lord.

Even if we do doubt, this Sunday’s readings emphasise God’s mercy, God’s forgiveness, that he is always ready to forgive and continue to share his love with us.

Chris Knowles

Salesian Volunteer & Charity Worker

Prayer

Lord, when times get hard help us to always remember the joy of Easter, and that our faith is a joyful Easter faith!

Help us to share this faith, with others in the same way our merciful father shares it with us.

Through Christ our Lord,

Amen