Jesus’ Life: Chapter 19 – The Resurrection Of Jesus
Time: First Sunday After Easter
The Apostle Thomas knew Jesus had died on Calvary having been tortured, crucified and pierced with a spear. He also knew that on the third day, Easter Sunday, when the women arrived at the tomb to anoint his body, it was empty. However, despite the abundance of evidence from his closest friends, -Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James & Joseph, the Emmaus disciples, Simon Peter and the other nine Apostles- Thomas refused to accept that Jesus had risen from the dead or that He appeared bodily in front of each of them!
Previously, when Jesus appeared to the ten Apostles in the locked room, Thomas was absent. Perhaps, since their meeting was late in the evening, he had to step out to deal with family or other matters. But when his joyful friends told him afterwards, “We have seen the Lord” he insisted, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!” (John 20:25)
The following Sunday, the Apostles were again assembled in the same room but this time, Thomas was present. They were still afraid for their own safety from the Jewish leaders so, as before, they again locked the doors. Suddenly Jesus stood among them and repeated His usual greeting, “Peace be with you”. (John 20:26)
As if Jesus was making this appearance just for Thomas’ benefit, Jesus turned to him and invited him to, “Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe”. (John 20:27)
A remorseful and ashamed Thomas affectionately cried out to Jesus, “My Lord and my God”. He didn’t need to examine Jesus’ wounds further; his hands, feet or side; he believed. (John 20:28)
Jesus then said to Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed”. (John 20:29) (John 20:24-29)
Although Thomas’ faith was slow, he remained loyal, he didn’t leave the other ten Apostles, he persevered and eight days later Jesus returned!
“My Lord and my God,” soothe my fears and grant to me a perfect belief in You, the Risen Jesus.
Prayer: Faith (St Benedict)
Gracious and Holy Father,
give us the wisdom to discover You,
the intelligence to understand You,
the diligence to seek after You,
the patience to wait for You,
eyes to behold You,
a heart to meditate upon You,
and a life to proclaim You,
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.