A journey of faith and mercy, JOHN 20:19–31
By Donnel andRosemarie Siewnarine
The gospel for this second Sunday of Easter meets the disciples in the Upper Room, the first day of the week, with the doors closed in fear of the Jews. Archbishop Jason Gordon in his homily at the Easter Vigil invited us to the Upper Room of our homes, taking our families, not in fear of anything this time but with the mission to prayer and to unite as families and as a Church.
As the disciples gathered, they were filled with much fear, anxiety, guilt and doubt. Jesus was imprinted in their hearts as they gathered, then He appeared and stood before them and said, “Peace be with you”, showing them His hands and sides.
The joy which filled them at that moment seeing their Lord resurrected, removed all fear and anxiety. Their faith journey began here as Jesus was able to begin bringing them together at a point where they were feeling uncertain. His Resurrection empowered them drawing them closer together and allaying their fears.
Jesus’ appearance and actions sanction the mission to go: As the Father sent Jesus, He is now sending the disciples and us. Jesus continues to build the faith of His disciples as He spoke to them bringing peace, as He breathed on them with the Holy Spirit, as they heard His words and as Thomas touched Him.
As Jesus continued to reassure the disciples, He points us to the commissioning of these disciples where the Sacrament of Reconciliation was also given in John 20:23.
The priesthood is evident in this gospel as He began calling the disciples to mission. This fortified faith propelled the Church’s formation as Jesus saw not just the disciples before Him but the Catholic Church which He began building from this point till this day.
Thomas plays a pivotal role in this gospel. His touching of Jesus turns Thomas’ doubt into an event of mercy for generations. We are invited to join with Thomas on this Feast of the Divine Mercy and echo with Thomas: “My Lord and my God”, embracing Mercy on this glorious Sunday.
We are called during these times to take the Church forward in the most trying of times. We should all return to the fold enriched, ready to serve and to use this time wisely to evangelise and encourage others.
Let us use this period to unite as a Church, as a family, as a society to find ways to let the Resurrection light reach others. Easter is leading us to this new hope to be a Church on mission.
Father Lord, we thank You for the gift of Your Resurrection and the call to our faith journey today. Help us to embrace the mission You have set before us as a family, community, church, nation and a world. Our Church was built on the faith of the disciples; help us to unite to build her presence on earth. We pray on this weekend of Divine Mercy, for the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.
The gospel meditations for April are by Donnel and Rosemarie Siewnarine, a couple from the Carapichaima RC parish.