|Still Doubting by John Granville Gregory|
Every year on the Sunday after Easter we hear the story of Thomas, the doubter... who is ultimately Thomas, the believer... The painting above is a contemporary rendition of the familiar piece by Caravaggio.
I know you know the story, so let's lead off here with a few starter questions:
What doubts will you, with Thomas, bring to the Lord this Sunday?
What keeps you from believing?
What kind of proof do you look for? wait for?
What needs affirmation and confirmation
in your believer's mind and heart?
The liturgical weight and solemnity of Holy Week is behind us but every Sunday is a "little Easter" and so it's time to begin reading, studying and pondering the scriptures for the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as "Divine Mercy Sunday."
The scriptures for Sunday and background material on them can be found here and hints for helping children prepare this coming weekend's Word can be found here.
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles gives us a snapshot view of the early Christian community and sets the bar high for those of us who would take it as our model.
In the Easter season, all three Sunday readings are taken from the Christian scriptures, the only season in the Church year when the Hebrew scriptures are not part of our spiritual nourishment. I hope that a future revision of the lectionary might rethink this practice. In the second lesson, then, we will hear from the First Letter of Peter and the caution that believers can expect to undergo some trial on account of their faith.
The gospel is the witness of John and tells story of Thomas, the doubter. Embedded in this story is the Lord's word,"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." This is the scriptural warrant for our understanding of the sacramental forgiveness of sin.
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