Daily Reflection – 7/3/19
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So, the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “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 answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”(John 20:24-29)
I wonder how many of us see ourselves mirrored in those disciples who preferred to live, trapped by their inhibitions, avoiding contact with a hostile environment, and by that very attitude running the risk of not meeting the Risen Lord, and losing the opportunity to regain their joy?
As Christians we live to proclaim our faith in him, without fear or complexes. It is just not possible to know that Jesus is risen and live as if he were still dead. If we really believe that Jesus is alive, we cannot remain silent, closing ourselves in our houses and running away from giving testimony. If we are silent about what we have experienced, we condemn Jesus to anonymity and we rob the world of God’s pardon. We cannot stand by and allow the evils of the world to dominate. We are called to make our voices loud in all that our Savior taught.
And not only that but the witnesses of the Risen Jesus know that they are sent into a hostile world with the precise task of pardoning it. Jesus is risen to a new life without end. He has conquered sin and death, hatred and division. For this very reason, his witnesses cannot limit themselves to proclaiming him by word. They have to perform new deeds, and there is nothing more new, more life-giving, more divine that the offer of universal forgiveness.
The Christian who cannot forgive is not a living witness of the resurrection. It does not matter what evils the world may have caused him, because his capacity for forgiveness does not depend on the evil suffered but on the mandate of Jesus and the gift of his Spirit. The pardon we succeed in giving and the peace we restore will be the best proof of the resurrection of Jesus. If there is one thing needed in our world, in our society and in our hearts, it is to live reconciled, inwardly at peace, healed in the very depth of our being.
Bringing peace and reconciliation is the practical and effective way of believing in the resurrection of Jesus. We will know that Jesus is alive without needing to touch his risen body, and we will feel in our hearts his life-giving breath, if we live by the pardon we have received and if we give life through deeds of reconciliation among men. The Christian who has used his hands to pardon has no need to touch the Risen Lord. He lives by his Spirit and for his mission. Nothing else is needed in order to believe. Happy are we if we know that Christ is alive. We live at peace in ourselves and we bring peace to the world!
Prayer of The Day
Dear Jesus, I beg You to pour your grace upon me so that each time I have difficulty understanding other Christian brothers and sisters in community I may have the wisdom to turn to You instead. So that I may in the process be able to see You in them, so that I may be able to serve You and them and not my own interests and concerns. Amen.
The only way we can live up to our discipleship in Christ is by seeing the goodness of one another, by seeing Jesus in each other, by being reconciliatory rather than authoritative and trying to force others to be obedient to man’s own concocted words rather than God’s Word, by being humble and accepting our shortcomings. In the same vein, we should be able to accept that all of us are inherently imperfect (just like Thomas’ and his unbelief) and would need to change and improve for the better so that our work for the Lord may to some degree reach a level of perfection.