We who have not seen but still believe

Sunday, April 03, 2016

 We who have not seen but still believe
Mercy Sunday

This is the second Sunday in the Easter season that lasts for 50 days.  The gospel today give us a clue as to why this season lasts so long.  It took a long time for the disciples to believe the good news.  Nothing in their lives so far could have prepared them for what they were experiencing.  Even the words of Jesus telling them what to expect were not enough to reduce their astonishment.  Later generations would ask the question, “how did this happen” but for now, the disciples were trying to comprehend that fact that it did happen, that Jesus was risen from the dead.

We have the same challenge.  We are continually called to understand deeper and deeper the resurrection and its implications in our lives.  Each time we participate in the liturgy, our belief is challenged to show itself in our lives.

The reading from Acts today tells us how the early Christians came to grips with this.  Believing in the resurrection “they devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.”  It is not hard to imagine that these things did not characterize their lives before the resurrection. 

These were disciples that had seen Jesus.  St. Thomas in the gospel, is the cause of the admonition of Jesus, “blessed are they who have not seen, but still have believed.  This refers to the modern day disciples—this refers to us.

We who have not seen but still believe can look to the letter from St. Peter for encouragement.  We can be heartened because “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…in his great mercy gave us a new birth.”  Because of our new life, we have living hope, we have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading and we are safeguarded to a salvation that is already revealed.”  And not to worry, even though you may suffer a little, that suffering will prove that your faith is genuine.  It will prove that “Although you have not seen him, you love him; even though you do not see him now, yet believe in him, you will rejoice with an indescribable joy.

We are invited to check out the joy quotient in our lives.  Does the joy of Christ risen and living with us supersede all our other emotions?  Of the comments I have heard about the death of Mother Angelica, most of them do not express sadness, but joy in the belief that she is in heaven- as a person who did not see but believed and is experiencing the joy of her faith.

This being Mercy Sunday, as part of our belief, we may have an opportunity to express our belief by showing mercy to someone today.

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