Missionary Weekly Reflection
19 April 2020
Sunday of DIVINE MERCY
Acts 2:42-47; Ps. 118:2-4,13-15,22-24; 1Pet. 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
The Gospel of John chapter 20 contains 4 models of human’s faith response before the risen Jesus. Two faith responses (from Mary of Magdala and Peter & the Disciple Loved by Jesus) took place in an opened tomb, while the other two faith responses (from the disciples and Thomas) were shown in a tightly locked room. The four are models of faith that always recur, from the past until now before the mystery of God’s resurrection. Everything is related to the theme of seeing and believing. These two main verbs are indeed dominant! They are the generation of “eyewitnesses”: successors and guarantors of the authenticity of faith in the risen Lord.
Today’s Gospel is about the scared Disciples. The resurrection news brought by Mary of Magdala did not seem to have an effect. They locked themselves in a room. Of course they were safe from the enemies. But such security is barren and useless. Jesus had to enter to give them real peace. He breathed on them with His spirit. They were re-created as a new. As a result, they became new human beings who came out from the pseudo security wall & barrier, to continue the mission and work of Jesus, especially in proclaiming peace and forgiveness.
For some reason, Thomas was not in the room. Perhaps he was the only disciple who wasn’t afraid of getting out of the room! Due to his absence, he did not get the peace and the Spirit and the mission that Jesus shared with the other disciples. So, he deserved to ask for a little proof. He did not believe easily in the saying. He had faith by demanding proof. Faith with term and condition, believes but with a lot of “if”. Is Thomas making it up? Please bear in mind that after Jesus died, His followers were under high pressure and were hit by a high-level crisis of faith. There must be a lot of dreams, illusions and gossip occurred. When there was news or claims that God had risen, Thomas wanted to make sure that it was not a hoax. He needed proof, not only was it visual, but also touchable!
Jesus came and offered what Thomas asked: to feel the scars of His suffering. It is not told if Thomas finally touched the scars. Just by seeing, Thomas finally believed, like the other previous disciples. But, ironically, from the mouth of the doubtful Apostle it is said out the greatest confession of faith about Jesus as “my Lord and my God”. Unfortunately, we often see Thomas as a figure of the past. In fact, Didymus means “the twin”. The twin is no one else but you and I. His faith reflects my present struggle of faith. So often that I demand proof in faith. I always want to see the apparition and miracle. Without that, I don’t feel secure in believing. I desperately want to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to see and feel the remnants of proof and the trail of God. Still, I feel that’s not enough. Jesus’ words to Thomas today is indeed addressed to me: blessed are those who believe without seeing. For you and me, it is enough just to believe in the testimony of the apostles, the generation of “eyewitnesses” who proclaim: “We have seen God!”
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I especially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Helping those who are addicted: May our brothers and sisters who are suffering from any addictions be able to get help and assistance. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Creating the culture of reading: May the church be willing to seek concrete means to train Catholic families in supporting and enhancing the culture of reading literacy. We pray…
Bless the people in our Diocese: for the women and children to experience and carry out justice in the family of the Church and society. We pray …