The disciples received reports from Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and the beloved disciple earlier in the morning that the tomb was empty and the body of Jesus was missing. Mary Magdalene had testified that she had met the risen Lord too. The confused disciples are still hopeless, in a state of shock since the death of Jesus. They live in fear of retaliation from the Jews. During the evening of the same day, the scared disciples locked themselves in, bolted their door and closed their windows. Suddenly Jesus appears to His disciples, not as a ghost but in the flesh, displaying his wounds from his passion and death. He has Risen indeed and the confused, troubled disciples immediately receive a greeting of peace from Jesus. Jesus knows that his disciples are living in fear and are anxious. So, He immediately responds by gifting them His peace and strengthens them with the breath of His Holy Spirit.
The Good News:
Through Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, evil and sin has been defeated. Humanity can now receive the gift of Jesus’ victory. It is truly the Good News for the whole world – Freedom from the evil of sin and an enriched life with God himself. Jesus as God gives authority to his disciples to forgive sins in His name. Therefore, the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the priest today guarantees the forgiveness of sins through apostolic succession and the authority given to the disciples by Jesus Himself.
When Jesus made his first appearance as the risen Lord among his disciples, Thomas was missing. Thomas, is unable to comprehend the situation and desires a personal encounter with the risen Lord. We should not focus on Thomas being doubtful but on his desire that Jesus Himself fulfilled. It is Jesus that responds to Thomas’ desire. Faith cannot be blind, faith is based on experience or an encounter that’s life changing. Meeting the risen Lord was that life changing moment for Thomas. It was that undeniable faith (no longer Doubting Thomas) that would make him the First one to declare Jesus as God. Later, Thomas would die a martyr and an Apostle of India.
We Catholics are blessed with the Sacraments, Power of the Holy Spirit and the infinite love of God poured out through his mercy and grace. Let us sincerely seek an encounter or a meaningful relationship with Christ that fortifies our faith and helps us to overcome our trials and challenges.