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15/16 April 2017
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Second Sunday of Easter - Year A

My dear friends in Christ,

In the 1st Reading this weekend we get an insight into early Christian community living after the resurrection of Jesus. Gathering together to listen to the teaching of the apostles, to pray and to ‘break bread’ (a reference to the Eucharist) was central to their new identity as followers of the risen Jesus. It is clear that their sense of unity was strong as they looked after one another, ensuring that everyone had everything they needed.

It’s interesting to note that, in part, the practise of their ‘old’ religion is still going on as they continue to visit the temple. In the years ahead this would create problems as the religious authorities began to question their allegiance to the Jewish faith in the light of claiming Jesus as the Messiah – ‘you can’t have it both ways, it’s either one or the other’! Eventually the Christian community breaks away completely from temple worship, while all the time tensions between the two gradually escalate.

In the gospel this weekend Jesus makes an appearance to his disciples while they were in ‘lock down’ in the upper room. This ‘lock down’ was self-imposed and rooted in fear. Jesus offers them peace, and by extension courage, as He commissions them – in and through the power of the Spirit – to continue His work. Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared and when the others had told him later on what had happened he couldn’t believe what they were telling him and wanted concrete proof that the Lord was alive. Eight days later Thomas’ wish was granted.

There is nothing wrong with doubt; in fact, I think it is the friend of faith. I say this because doubt can sometimes lead us to new revelations more than blind faith can; it can push us to a deeper experience of faith and a realisation of its wisdom. However, for doubt to be fruitful it must be faced with honesty and a willingness to search for the possible truth. This means that we have to struggle and work with it at times and, needless to say, a good pinch of perseverance is helpful to! Also, please note that Thomas’ faith affirming revelation takes place within the context of the community gathering!

Wishing you a faith affirming week!

Fr Brett


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