The Second Sunday of Easter – April 23, 2017
John 20, 19-31
We have been through the glory, the beauty, the joy of Easter now; and it is time to take a careful look at ourselves and at this Christ. In a world where we get hurt if we really are willing to live, in a world where the Body of Christ is still broken and bleeding, where children starve, where the innocent are blown away by terrorist’s bombs, in a world where injustice is so evident that we can hardly bear to look, much less think of the consequences of facing it; Thomas stand before us and suggests that we not be afraid to touch the wounds and face the facts. The hard questions about how this can all be, and how God can allow it to be still stir in human minds just as much as they stirred in the mind of Thomas whose faith in such pain and suffering moved so slowly. He may be suggesting to us that in a world broken by unshared bread, we must not be afraid to turn off from the main road to follow the narrow winding path to the homes of the poor. In a world of suffering, we must not be afraid to reach out to touch Christ’s wounds in this world, for there surely is where we can finally hope to encounter Christ and come to believe. Near the end of this day’s Gospel, the same word is used in the original language to say “receive” the Holy Spirit as is used earlier to say: “Take and Eat.” Jesus is not really asking us to “receive” the Holy Spirit. He is telling us to TAKE the Spirit – to reach out and possess it. To reach out of our hurts and disappointments, to reach through the confusion and chaos of this world and all that it can throw up to hide the living God.
Fr. Tom Boyer