HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND HAVE BELIEVED
BY: Fr. Abbot Philip Lawrence
My sisters and brothers in the Lord,
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed! Jesus is clear in his words to Saint Thomas. On the other hand, he accepts the doubts of Thomas, allows Thomas to touch Him and continues to be the friend of Thomas.
There are so many ways in which we could be closer to our Lord Jesus. We cannot do everything at once. Like Thomas, we must accept our defects and also acknowledge them before the Lord.
The first reading today is from the Acts of the Apostles and the basic teaching is this: The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and they had everything in common.
We also know that this ideal state did not last for long before some began to withdraw from it or even to misuse it. There are still religious communities today which try to live this way. Most of us, however, share our goods with the causes that we find to be good. Sometimes it is good to reflect that God shares Himself with both the good and the evil. God gives to all.
The second reading is from the First Letter of Saint John. The words that might touch us deeply today are these: “The love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.” Today so many people reject any kind of commandment, any kind of imposition from without. If we ever want to know God, we must be open to allowing Him into our hearts. God always brings commandments of one type or another. If there are no commandments, then we are deluding ourselves about God.
Today’s Gospel is from Saint John. Jesus has just been raised from the dead. Now Jesus begins to appear to various of his followers. He appears to His disciples and gives them the Holy Spirit. This Gospel relates to us that Thomas was not present and would not believe the testimony of those who were. This Thomas is hard headed. So are so many of us today. We find it difficult to accept the testimony of others, especially if we have doubts about what they are saying. We want to see and touch and decide on our own and not just believe because someone else told me so. This lack of faith has always been present, both within the Church and outside the Church.
Our Christian faith is handed down by others. We come to know Christ, normally, from the testimony of others. We can accept the New Testament writing about Christ, but all of them are the testimony of others.
This first week of the Resurrection, we place our lives and our faith in the hands of others and ask that they may learn and we may learn: all for the glory of God.
Fr. Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB Christ in the Desert Monastery, Abiquiu, New Mexico