Second Sunday of Easter (7 April)

The first disciples were confused and incredulous when confronted with the empty tomb. Even on the day of resurrection, their feelings of elation were mixed with great doubt. Mary thought that someone had stolen Jesus’ body. The two walking to Emmaus were saddened by Jesus’ death, so much so that they did not recognise Him as He walked with them – until, of course, they realised who He was as He broke bread with them. Even though several of the women and Jesus’ closest friends reported that the tomb was empty, it seems that the reality of the resurrection had not yet been accepted, and perhaps at the time could not be accepted, as true by many of them.

This Sunday’s gospel (John 20) records the famous account of Jesus’ appearance to ten of the disciples behind locked doors when Thomas was not present. Thomas’s subsequent expression of doubt when hearing about it reminds us that doubt is a reality for many of Jesus’ followers from time to time, both then and now. Wonderfully, Thomas’s doubt turned to belief and faith in Jesus as “his Lord and his God” when Jesus appeared again a week later and lovingly invited Thomas to touch the scars of his wounds.

I think it is important to note that Jesus did not condemn Thomas for his doubt, but rather met him in his doubt and invited a deeper encounter with him. Jesus’ words that “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” speak to an emphasis on the role of faith, which goes beyond physical evidence and requires a heart that is open to God’s revelation and a willingness to trust in God’s promises.

May we, like the disciples, be willing to encounter the risen Christ in our doubts, receive his peace, and proclaim his truth with unwavering faith.

Every blessing.