April 27th, Second Sunday of Easter
The joy and happiness of Easter continues in the life of the Church across the world. We are a believing people. We believe that God stepped into the human story in the person of Jesus. We believe that Jesus offered his life as a sacrifice for each of us. We believe also that he rose from the dead and is still with us.
The Church today is an awesome institution. It is a community of faith and has drawn billions of people into its arms, but it was not always that way. Today’s readings give us the opportunity to look at that infant community of faith, and see the men and women who walked with Jesus and were witnesses of the Resurrection. The Gospel story is one that each one of us knows all too well.
Thomas is in the center of the story and in a very real way he represents each one of us. Thomas doubts the Resurrection and demands physical proof. That proof is provided and then Jesus looks into the future and sees each one of us. We have not seen physical proof. We believe in the Resurrection because the message has been brought through the centuries by this wonderful family of faith. We need to stop and think occasionally about the fact that our faith is grounded in the Church.
The apostles provide us with an excellent image of some aspects of the Church’s frailty. They stumble and fall, they doubt, they fight among themselves but ultimately they believe in Jesus and they accept the Resurrection.
The first reading goes into greater detail and shows the Church getting itself organized in chapter two of Acts of Apostles. Two thousand years later, Pope Francis has just appointed eight cardinals from seven different countries from around the world to assist him as he endeavors to improve the organizational structure of the Church. It was needed in the first century and it is needed today. The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit but it will always be in need of reform.