Sunday reflection 24 April

Readings: Acts 5:12-16; Psalm 118:2-24; Rev 1:9-19; John 20:19-31

Lent directs us towards Easter, so there is a lot of build-up. After the celebration of Easter, we can ask, ‘what now?’ In the end it is about living our faith, living the full life to which we are called at Easter. But what does that look like in reality?

In John’s Gospel, Jesus promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will come to them after his death. In today’s Gospel, the disciples receive the Holy Spirit. The first reading demonstrates all that the disciples could achieve through the Holy Spirit. Yet our experience tells us that not everything goes to plan. There are challenges. There are difficulties. We can lack faith. What then?

Today’s Gospel tells the story of the apostle Thomas who is frequently called ‘doubting Thomas’ – with more than a hint of judgment. Would I have believed the disciples if I was told of Jesus’ resurrection? It is very easy to say ‘yes’. The story provides us with a few points from which we can learn: 1) Thomas made a mistake but he gets it right in the end 2) if a close disciple of Jesus can get it wrong, we are allowed to make mistakes too 3) blessed are we who have not seen Jesus yet we believe. As has been said, ‘failure is not in the falling down but the staying down’. 

The Gospel invites us to ‘come to believe’. The Gospel tells us that faith is a verb and it is also a process. So, if so soon after Jesus they had this idea of coming to believe, then it is OK for you and I to make mistakes, as part of our journey of faith.

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