Second Sunday of Easter
April 8, 2018
“I’ll need to see some proof.” “Can you back that up?” “How can you be certain?” Have you used any of those expressions today? Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for the Second Sunday of Easter.
Influenced by the scientific mindset which shapes so much of our way of looking at the world, most of us want proof for anything beyond our experience. We don’t want to be “taken in” by extravagant claims or wild speculations.
So today’s Gospel, the story of “Doubting Thomas,” has a modern appeal. Thomas wants proof of the Resurrection. Scripture scholar Father Raymond Brown notes that in John’s Gospel, Thomas’s story is part of a string of experiences linking faith to something concrete: the Beloved Disciple sees folded cloths in the tomb, Mary Magdalene hears Christ’s voice, the disciples see the risen Lord. It’s natural for Thomas to want concrete evidence.
But the evangelist and Jesus, Fr. Brown notes, are interested in a different reaction: What about those who believe without any physical evidence? Clearly John wants his readers to make an act of faith, for Jesus calls such believers “blessed.”
When we hear this Gospel proclaimed at Mass today, we can draw some reassurances from our fellow believers. The idealistic portrait of the Church in the first reading may not mirror our own parishes in every detail. But when our individual faith wavers, we can gain strength from the Holy Spirit at work in the midst of a community of faith.