Second Sunday of Easter: My Art and column. Poem by Holly Conlon

April 8, 2018 Bulletin Cover

Dear Believers in the Risen Christ,

On this Second Sunday of Easter, we hear from John’s Gospel (20:19-31) that Thomas probed the mystery of the wounds of the Risen Christ. He fell to his knees and put his fingers into the hands of Jesus and his hand into his side. He declared, “My Lord and my God!”

For us to discover the Risen Christ, we all must probe the mystery of the wounded Christ. We have become the Body of Christ in our world through our baptism. We must fall to our knees in face of the wounded Christ, the wounds we all bear in faith and love. For us to find the real meaning of Jesus’ resurrection, we must reach out to people in need, those who face hunger and hatred, violence and crimes, war and neglect. If we extend our lives to those who are humbled by suffering, then we shall discover the grace of God’s love and redeeming compassion.

This gospel identifies Divine Mercy. Christ’s merciful presence to Thomas becomes a longing and model for us all. Pope John Paul II declared this Sunday as Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000.

Mercy is not something we do for ourselves; it is not an act of our will. Rather, mercy is a sheer gift of God. We cannot save ourselves. God initiates his presence and forgiveness in our lives. Mercy is an abundance of love and peace as seen by the disciples behind locked doors in this gospel text after the resurrection. God’s compassion and forgiveness are given to us through the passion, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. God’s love is far greater than we can imagine.

This gospel story is told on all three cycles of liturgical readings on this Second Sunday of Easter. Our Holy Cross men are ordained priests on the Saturday after Easter. So on this Sunday, each new priest preaches this gospel at his first Mass of Thanksgiving after ordination. I celebrate my 35th Anniversary of Ordination on April 9 this weekend.

In this gospel, Jesus comes to his disciples after his death. They are behind locked doors. He offers them peace. “Peace be with you,” he says to his disciples whom he knows are shaking in fear. This peace is from the mouth of the Risen Christ and I invite you to make his peace your desire and your prayer in the Easter Season.

This gospel invites us into a scene with Jesus and his disciples. It is a scene in which we too encounter Christ Jesus. Place your life in this beautiful scene. The images of this text are broad with grace and deep with meaning.

Here are some things to consider this week:

I find myself locked in fear these days because…

I ache for the peace of Jesus because…

Jesus, please bring my heart to your peace because…

Please bring the chaos and hatred to your peace because…

Jesus, help me probe the mystery of the wounds of our world in faith…

Jesus, bring Easter hope to my life because…


Peace be with you,

Fr. Ron

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