April 23, 2017
Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday

The readings today describe how life was lived in communities formed not long after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Their focus is on communal life and the teachings of those who knew Jesus best, his apostles. The readings from First Peter and John both remind us that even among the apostles there is a tension between believing and seeing the reality of the resurrection. John tells of an apostle, Thomas, who refused to believe in the risen Christ until he had seen and touched his wounds. Jesus offers him the chance to do just that. Most of us are not in a position to demand such tangible proof from Jesus. But these stories are written so that we, who cannot see Jesus as his apostles did, can still come to believe and through that belief have life.

In today’s passage from Acts we read of an idealized version of what the first communities were like. People are devoted to the community, to teaching, breaking bread, and sacrifice. Many signs and wonders were done. First Peter offers a more realistic picture because time has passed and believers are still waiting. Faith is being tested by the passage of time and the suffering that is a part of life. In the Gospel, the disciples are consumed with recent events. That is all they can talk about. Poor Thomas misses the latest revelation, that is, the visit by the risen Jesus to the disciples in the locked room. He is angry and refuses to share in the excitement or even to believe it happened. So Jesus appears again, this time when Thomas is present. Jesus tells him to touch and feel the wounds so that Thomas can believe. Jesus then reminds Thomas and us that there is something more to believing than just the physical reality.

Too often we are more like Thomas than we might like to think. We are disturbed when we can’t directly see or experience the results of our faith. We want some evidence for all the years of faith and struggle when there seems so little to show for our faith. The mistake that Thomas made and that we make is thinking that if we could just see some evidence that our faith makes a difference, then it would be easier to have faith. But it is not the evidence that makes faith possible. Thomas does not gain his faith because he puts his hands in Jesus’ wounds. Thomas gains faith because Jesus comes back. Jesus comes back again and again and again. Jesus returns every time we ask for his presence in our life because Jesus never really leaves. Thomas had only to ask. We need only ask.

Today’s Readings: Acts 2:42-47; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; 1 Pt 1:3-9; Jn 20:19-31
Copyright (c) J. S. Paluch Company

Acts 4:23-31; Ps 2:1-9; Jn 3:1-8
Tuesday: 1 Pt 5:5b-14; Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17; Mk 16:15-20
Wednesday: Acts 5:17-26; Ps 34:2-9; Jn 3:16-21
Thursday: Acts 5:27-33; Ps 34:2, 9, 17-20; Jn 3:31-36
Friday: Acts 5:34-42; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; Jn 6:1-15
Saturday: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; Jn 6:16-21
Sunday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; 1 Pt 1:17-21; Lk 24:13-35


Monday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; Mt 28:8-15  
 Tuesday: Acts 2:36-41; Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; Jn 20:11-18  
Wednesday: Acts 3:1-10; Ps 105:1-4, 6-9; Lk 24:13-35  
Thursday:  Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2, 5-9; Lk 24:35-48  
Friday:  Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27; Jn 21:1-14  
Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Ps 118:1, 14-21; Mk 16:9-15  
Sunday: Acts 2:42-47; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; 1 Pt 1:3-9; Jn 20:19-31