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Reflection – Second Sunday of Easter Apr 5, 2024

Second Sunday of Easter
Second Sunday of Easter

There is a story about a mountain village in Europe, several centuries ago, where a nobleman decided to build a church for the village people. No one saw the complete plans for the church until it was finished. When the people gathered, they marvelled at its beauty and completeness.

 

Then someone asked, “But where are the lamps?  How will the church be lit?”   The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls. He then gave each family a lamp and instructed them to bring it with them each time they came to worship.

 

“Each time you are here the area where you are seated will have light,” the nobleman said. “Each time you are not here, that area will remain dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God’s house will be dark.”

 

On this second Sunday of Easter, we hear the story of Doubting Thomas. We all know Thomas for his doubting, but let us consider another factor that contributed to his doubting. Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to the disciples for the first time. Whatever his reasons were, Thomas missed out because he was not there. Regardless of his reason for not being there, he missed some things that could never be duplicated.

 

In fairness to Thomas, we should also consider the other disciples. When they first heard the news that Jesus was alive, they didn’t believe either. The whole group was so overcome with grief and disappointment that at first, they could not bring themselves to believe. Later, they came to believe when they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread and when they saw Jesus themselves. Thomas was only asking for the same proof that the other disciples had already received.

 

Thomas provides a reminder of why being present at church is so important. We never know what we will miss when we are not there. Something is missing in the fellowship of the Church when we are not there. We are the Church and when we are not present, we miss out on experiencing the Presence, the Power, the Peace and Praises of the Lord shared in the fellowship of our faith community and on recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the Bread.

 

Jesus tells Thomas something we need to hear today. He tells Thomas that he believed because of what he had seen with his eyes and added that those who believe, without seeing, are even more blessed. We will never see the physical Person of Jesus in this life, but being present at Mass and in our faith community, allows an opportunity for us to encounter and recognize the presence of Jesus in the Word, the Eucharist and in our fellowship with one another.

 

Deacon Michael Khoury

 

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