April 24, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings continue to show us the rising power of Christ after the Resurrection.
Acts demonstrates how powerfully Jesus lives in his disciples, and in the faith of the emerging Church.
… the people esteemed them.Acts 5: 13-15
Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord,
great numbers of men and women, were added to them.
Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets
and laid them on cots and mats
so that when Peter came by,
at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.
Our Gospel recounts two Post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus where He bolsters that faith for these still fledgling followers. They were gathered in the Upper Room, doors locked and fearful. When Jesus appears, the first thing he says is, “Peace”, because that is what his little flock most needs.
In the course of the reading, we discover Thomas’s adamant doubt unless he can see and touch evidence of the Christ he once knew in the flesh. His doubt is so strong that his faith, when it comes, overwhelms him.
My Lord, and my God!
In these first sainted founders of the faith, we can find a mirror image of our own call to witness Christ. We are delegated to be his presence in the world, to cast a shadow that bears his blessing in the midst of suffering and confusion.
But in the locked room of our hearts, we may still be afraid. We may feel, like Thomas, that we were absent when the affirmation and courage were distributed!
Knowing our own weaknesses – and captured in the maze of their little dramas – we may be skeptical that Christ desires to rise in us, to preach by our lives.
What Jesus said to these very fragile witnesses, he says to us
Let us look around today in awareness of those who fall in the shadow of our faith: our children and families, our religious communities, our elders, our neighbors, our friends and co-workers. As we pass through life together, does our presence bless them with a trace of God?
As we pray today, let us place our doubts, fears, weaknesses and self-concerns into Christ’s sacred wounds. Let us leave them there in confidence as we humbly choose to be his Presence and Mercy for others by the simple, selfless choices of our lives.
Poetry: In the Upper Room – by Fr. Charles O’Donnell, CSC – 11th President of Notre Dame University (unfortunately not as well known for his beautiful, mystical poetry)
Music: Under the Shadow of Your Wings – Chris Bowater