2nd Sunday in Easter, Year A
1 Peter 1:3-9
April 26, 2014
Last Sunday we heard that the disciples had found Jesus’ tomb empty. We know this to be good news because Jesus is risen but Jesus’ disciples were in a quandary to understand what happened.
To add to their stress they fear for their own lives. They are afraid that the people who had Jesus arrested and crucified will have the same thing down to their. So the disciples fear for their very lives.
In their common fear they come together to be with one another and to support one another but in their fear they do it behind locked doors. This is the beginnings of the post-resurrection Christian Community.
The idea of community is essential to our Catholic faith. As we hear in the Acts of the Apostles, the early Christians dedicated themselves to the communal life, to pray, and breaking bread.
We don’t always do it well but generally we have some notion of what it means to pray, we break bread together as we celebrate Mass, but what is our sense of “communal life?”
For the early disciples we are told that everyone sold what they have and shared the money “according to each one’s need.”
I suspect a lot of people don’t like this. It’s seen as socialism and many feel they have worked hard for their money and resent the idea of giving all their money away. So, very few people live the communal life is this way. Our church recognizes the value of private property as long as we are generous and don’t hoard the money.
We can, albeit in a different way than the first disciples, live the communal life by sharing some of what we have. But communal life isn’t just about money.
Communal life involves prayer and breaking bread. We can pray alone but we also pray together. We are praying together right now as we celebrate Mass.
We also come together today to break bread, to celebrate the Eucharist just as Jesus did with his disciples.
Let’s go back to the disciples right after the tomb is found empty. They are in fear and in fear they could have scattered in separate directions but they did not. They remained together to support one another.
It is in their act of coming together that Jesus appeared to them. His first words?, “peace be with you.” He comes to them knowing their fears. He also comes knowing their doubts. They don’t understand the Resurrection and Jesus knows this. That’s why he shows them his hands and his side so that see the marks of his Crucifixion to know it is truly him and not a ghost.
One disciple was missing, Thomas. Because was not there he doubts. He gets a bad rap and has been known as “doubting Thomas”. We need to have faith but is Thomas really that much different than the rest of him. Jesus knows our doubts. That’s why he showed the disciples in the locked room his hands and his side, to help their belief.
How much doubt do you have?
Many in today’s world insist on proof. This means science, reason rather than faith. People want to see for themselves before they accept. Where is the faith in this?
God gave us minds to learn but reason is not enough. We are never going to have all the answers. At some point, we have to make a leap of faith.
Peter writes about how great it is to have faith without proof. Jesus tells Thomas blessed are those who have not seen and believe.
We come here today, never having seen the risen Jesus in physical form for ourselves yet we believe he is risen. Why? Because those early disciples wrote down what they had seen. Even though we have not seen for ourselves, we believe because of what the early Christian community shared with us in the scriptures.
Do we have perfect faith? I know I don’t but I do believe.
Do you have doubts? Do you still believe?
May we always share faith so that we can make the leap of faith together.