From the pastor’s desk
Second Sunday of Easter – Year C– The Christ’s event– Life, Death and Resurrection is on going in the disciples, (Divine Mercy Sunday)
In our contemporary world, many people think that our Christianity and Christian worship is only historical.
For that reason, some take their Christian life lightly; some do not even come to church after their confirmation; some still feel that the Christ-event is only historical and not ongoing in their age and lives.
But they are wrong in their assumptions. Jesus is that same yesterday, today and forever. The Good Friday in the life of every Christ’s disciple is his/her loss of life or real death (meaning challenges of life or life’s trials, disappointments and other problems, be it in the family, neighborhood, workplace or whatever); the Easter Sunday is his/her reception of new life; the forty days after Christ’s resurrection is the disciple’s time of readjustment to the new life and grieving the old. The ascension for a disciple is his/her letting go of the old order and allowing it to bless him/her as the disciple refuses to cling to old ways of insincerity and falsehood. For a disciple of Christ, Pentecost is the reception of the new Spirit that will enable him/her to live the new life in Christ that s/he now embraces.
From Jesus’ post-resurrection appearance today, in his glorified Body, he came to his apostles under closed doors, as he offered them the gift of peace, he showed them his hands and his side. As they rejoiced, he gave them the mission mandate, sending them as the Father had sent him. He also gave them the gift of the Spirit to empower them to forgive sins. The Spirit that Jesus breath on his apostles must be passed to other people through the church’s ministry. Through this Spirit, sin must be destroyed by all Christians.
Jesus came again a week later to clear the doubts of Thomas who was not present. As before, he offered them the gift of peace and made Thomas to examine his hands and side. With this, Thomas came to full faith in the Risen Lord, declaring him as both Lord and God. Through the apostles as our representative persons, we all who have not seen but believe through their testimony are blessed. The two post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his apostles under closed doors, show what Jesus does with us in every Eucharistic celebration and assembly. In the Mass, we not only remember the historical Jesus, we also meet the risen Christ in person. We express our loyalty to him and profess both our personal and shared faith that he is truly risen from the dead. As we pray together, we help one another to remain faithful, thereby strengthening our Christian community. By so doing, we help to evangelize and to build up the Body of Christ the Church, just as the regular public worship of the early Church made the number of people who believed in the Lord is steadily increase in Jerusalem. With the early Church Christians, who went from prayer into action, touching peoples’ lives, we too, should become witnesses of Christ’s resurrection by spreading Divine Mercy revealed through the resurrection of Christ; through the work of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Like Thomas, having touched the wounded hands and side of Jesus, we must continue to spread the faith in the Risen Christ as both Lord and God. This is the faith preached by St. John, the Beloved Disciple for which he was banished to the Island of Patmos. It was not a bed of roses for him. Our Christianity is not
a Cross-less one, like St. John who shared with us the distress and the kingly reign as well as the endurance we have in Jesus, the crucified and who rose again from the dead, we must proclaim God’s word and bear witness to Jesus Christ. Sharing of our faith is a duty for all Christians, It is given to us to be shared with others. While we pray about it, out of love we must express it always. In this way, it must be nurtured and become stronger and stronger
Rev. Fr. Michael Onyekwere, SDV, PhD