SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
(White) Cycle C/Year I (April 28, 2019)
Acts 5:12-16/Rev 1:9-13, 17-19/Jn 20:19-31
Jesus appeared to His disciples late of the day of His resurrection. His disciples were praying in a locked room for fear of the Jews. Jesus suddenly appeared to them in their midst and showed them His hands and side and granted them peace and the power to forgive sins. Unfortunately, Thomas was not with them. So when they told Thomas about the incident, he could not believe it. He said to them: “Unless I see the print of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the print of the nails, and unless I put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (Jn 20:25b).
Thomas is called the doubter because of such incident in which he could not believe the resurrection of Jesus because he did not see the risen Lord the way his companions did. He did not witness it since he separated himself from the group, his community. Somehow, we can understand the attitude of Thomas because he was what we call now the introvert. An introvert person is usually perceived as more reserved and reflective whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction. Thomas was devastated when he saw his master died on the cross. He needed space to reflect and to gain more energy. Consequently, he was not with his companions during the resurrection of Jesus because he was still processing himself with the things that just happened. Moreover, as reflective person, he needed evidence of Christ’s resurrection and so he could not simply believe the story of his companions.
Thomas is called the didymus in the gospel. “Didymus” is a Greek term for “twin”. But Thomas had no biological twin. For this reason, the bible scholars believe that the twin of Thomas is no other than you or me. In other words, we are all the twin of Thomas since we are all like Thomas in some ways. Like Thomas, when we have big problems, we tend to separate ourselves from our community, the Church. This we do especially when we are hurt because we feel that God does not give us what we want and that we do not feel the love of God. Like Thomas, we do not simply believe and follow the teachings of the Lord and of His Church. This happens because we do not understand them and the worst, we do not know them.
It is beneficial that we learn from the mistake of Thomas. It is clear in the gospel that the Lord shows Himself in the Church and He is in the Church. We can never encounter Jesus outside the Church. Consequently, we must not separate ourselves from the Church especially when we are distressed or depressed. Jesus is always in the Church waiting for us to strengthen us and to grant us peace. It is interesting that Thomas did not simply believe but search for the reasons of his faith within the Church. We too must not be blind believers. Rather, we must try our best to know the reasons of our faith by learning from the teachings of the Church and never by just simply reading the bible and interpret it personnaly.
Furthermore, we must never doubt the teaching of the Church because the Church is always faithful to the Lord, her husband and head. Where the Catholic Church is, there is the Lord and there we encouter the teaching of the Lord faithfully handed on to us by her ministers. To be faithful to the Church is to be faithful to Jesus.