THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK April 23-29, 2017

Picture1-41FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  John 20:29  In the amazing story of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples behind locked doors after his Resurrection, we eventually meet the doubting Thomas, one of the apostles. He was an impetuous person and encouraged the apostles to go with Jesus to Jerusalem. He was outspoken and seemed fearless.  We can be indebted to him for wanting material proof of Jesus’ rising from the dead.  It is because of him that we have received that most welcome blessing. It is believed that he preached as far as India and perhaps beyond.  Catholic.org

Like Thomas, we would like to place our fingers in the hands, side and feet of Jesus for re-assurance. However, have we not done that when we console the sorrowing, have mercy on the lost, visit the suffering and hold the dying?  All the good we do, no matter how small, we do with and in Christ. Jesus said in the story of the vine and the branches, “Live on in me, as I do in you…I am the vine; you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly.” John 15: 4-5 What further support for our faith do we need, but his WORD?

Another gift of Thomas was his beautiful words, “My Lord and my God!” John 20: 28 In many places it is still traditional to hear a few voices at the elevation of the body and blood of Christ during the Consecration in the Mass say these words.  As a child, I can remember the congregation saying it loudly and clearly.  It was a breathe-taking moment. I always wondered at this strong response and knew something marvelous had just happened.  Why have we lost this beautiful practice? Maybe our students would be a little more attentive, if they participated in this sacred moment with these words on their lips.

This Sunday is also known as Divine Mercy.  Jesus gave us the great example of mercy – to give one’s life to save others.  Pope Francis has called for the spirit of mercy and forgiveness.  During this season of Easter, let us constantly remind ourselves to be merciful and compassionate.

May this most pivotal event of our Christian life – the Resurrection of Jesus – fill us with joy.  In the words of Jesus, “Peace be with you.” John 20: 19

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan
Director of the Spirituality Center

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