Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus returns to his apostles
Based on Acts 4:32-35; 1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31
Easter night. The apostles huddle behind locked doors. Suddenly, Jesus appears and says, “Peace be with you.” He shows them the wounds in his hands and side. Joyfully, the apostles recognize Jesus.
Jesus says again, “Peace be with you.” He empowers the apostles to carry on his work – to forgive sins and to share his mercy, peace and love with everyone.
The apostle Thomas was absent when Jesus appeared. They tell him, “We have seen the Lord.” Thomas will not believe without seeing Jesus for himself.
A week later, although the doors are locked, Jesus again appears to the apostles, including Thomas. For a third time Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” With merciful love for Thomas, Jesus tells him, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas adoringly responds, “My Lord and My God!”
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, all the apostles faithfully spread the Good News.
At Mass, we quietly pray, “My Lord and My God,” when the priest elevates Christ’s Body and Blood. We don’t see Jesus, but we believe he is really there! That’s faith – God’s special gift to us.
Easter isn’t just for one day – it’s a season that lasts for 50 days from Easter Sunday through Pentecost. Pay close attention at Sunday Mass for the songs, prayers and readings that tell us more about Jesus’ Resurrection and all that happened afterward when Jesus spent time with his apostles.
In 2000, St. John Paul II canonized a humble, young Polish nun – Sr. Faustina Kowalska – and designated the first Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
St. Faustina is known as the apostle of Divine Mercy because of Jesus’ appearances to her and his calls for people to come to him for forgiveness, healing and salvation. To learn about her and the Divine Mercy devotion, contact the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. at www.marian.org.
Jesus’ merciful love for us is without limits. “Jesus, I trust in you!”