Message from Fr. Joe (24/04/2022)

2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER – DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

Dear Parishioners,

The scriptures today tell about: how the community of Jesus’ followers are accepted and respected by the people; John is commissioned in the Book of Revelation to set down all he has seen and heard; there is the first appearance of Jesus to the disciples to bring them peace; Thomas has doubts–he wants evidence that Jesus is alive.

The disciples are behind locked doors for fear of their lives.  Jesus, their leader, has been crucified; they could easily end up in the same way. So it isn’t by accident that the first words of Jesus are: “Peace be with you.” He shows them his wounded hands and feet. There is no cover-up! Jesus did not hide his wounds. These were a sign of his love for all people. A week later when Thomas is present, he is invited to touch them. “By His wounds we are healed!” The reality of Jesus’ wounds can be a source of consolation for us in our own sufferings and pain. The wounds in our lives too can be a source of courage and help us not to feel sorry for ourselves.

One of the wonderful things about Jesus in all the stories of meeting his followers after the resurrection, is that he never reprimands, gives out to, or humiliate them for abandoning him at his weakest moments when he was arrested and on trial before Pilate etc. This is true mercy and is what we celebrate today.

Back to Thomas: he reminds us that to doubt is acceptable. He has a refreshing honesty. We tend to feel guilty about doubts but instead, those questioning moments can be a growing point on our faith. We can learn from Thomas, who in the end made the magnificent expression of faith: “My Lord and my God”. In this life there is no absolute certainty about spiritual things.
If there were, then faith would not be necessary.
As Thomas Merton wrote: “A person of faith who has never experienced doubt is not a person of faith.”

We thank God for our faith in the Risen Jesus.
We continue to pray for an increase and a better understanding of what we believe in and find new ways of expressing it to ourselves and to others.

THANKS again to all who participated in the Easter Celebrations; those who gave time to being involved in the Liturgy; and also for the many gifts and offerings. Much appreciated!

Have a blessed week.
Fr Joe

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