“Give thanks to the LORD for he is good,
his love is everlasting.”
Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24
I John 5: 1-6
John 20: 19-31
by Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we are given a lovely, and almost ideal picture of the earliest Christian community. They were of one mind and one heart who held everything in common. As the Evangelist, St. Luke, tells us, “There was no needy person among them,” and as they held all things in common, each one received according to their need. The letter of St. John says that our faith is realized in the love of the Father and in the Son. We come to know the love of God when we obey his commandments; that is, when we love the children of God. This certainly includes the most needy. How we love others is how we come to know the love of God.
The Gospel Reading from St. John recounts the first Sunday of the Resurrection when the Apostles are gathered together in the locked room in fear. When the Risen Lord stands in their midst, he doesn’t refer to their fear and recent denial of him. His first words are “Peace be with you” and “Receive the Holy Spirit.” These words are truly the verbal incarnation of His Love for them and the whole world.
When the Apostles related this experience to Thomas who had been absent from this first gathering, he refused to believe. The Lord did not write off Thomas because of his unbelief. He returned to their gathering the next week, presumably the next Sunday. The Lord did not scold Thomas. Instead, He loved Thomas into his new and deepened belief, so that he responded, “My Lord and my God.” May we come to know and believe the love of God for each of us, especially now, in our present time, and in the people who are a part of our lives.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.” (Translation – RB 1980)Chapter 72, Verse 11
“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!”