2nd Sunday of Easter; Gospel John 20:19-31

Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe

Like so many of us in these times, I am each day looking out for any and every piece good news there might be in relation to Co-vid 19.  The hope of a vaccine; a reduction at last  in the tragic number of deaths, less people in Intensive Care units, people leaving hospital, having come successfully come through the illness. . Anything….  and everything which can give the sense and the hope that the virus might be retreating.

There is certainly plenty of good news and plenty to be thankful for, in terms of the response of people . There are the heroic fundraising efforts by Captain Tom Moore. We have the weekly displays of appreciation for the key workers in this health crisis. Then there are also the increased levels of neighbourliness, kindness and generosity of spirit. Personally I have been a recipient of these in many different ways – Thank you!.

But then, wherever we look for good news we should never lose sight of who we are –  of the fact that we a people who are brought to life through the good news, and who are called to be that good news for each other and for our world? In this Sunday’s gospel, that good news comes to us from the lips of Thomas. In Thomas’ words, “My Lord and my God”  the one, perhaps unfairly labelled as the “doubter,” brings us, the deepest and most profound acclamation of faith to be found anywhere in the Gospels. In uttering those words of faith. Thomas becomes the mouthpiece for all believers in all times and places and situations, good and bad.

Thomas had been at the level of imposing conditions for faith and trust. “Do this and I will believe. Show me this and I will place my trust in you. Here are my conditions for belief and unless they are met I am not going believe in the resurrection”. What happens of course is that Thomas, through the gift of God, is able to move on to an entirely different level.

The demand – show me your hands and your side – becomes redundant, as Thomas moves into the land of faith and trust. There faith is indeed unconditional and not dependent at all or our demands or impositions.

That acclamation “My Lord and My God” needs to be ours. Our Queen gave a powerful witness to the resurrection in saying that “This year we need Easter more than ever”.

We pronounce our Easter faith in these times when we do not have access to the sacramental life of the church or even to the building which is our spiritual home.  

We might long for a miracle and we may well be praying for that miracle. But our faith is certainly not in any way dependent upon that. It endures whatever comes. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe – Blessed therefore those early Christians living in difficult days after the time of the eyewitnesses, those for whom the gospels were first written. 

Today, we can declare in truth, with them, with Thomas, and with fellow believers of every generation,  that Jesus is our Lord and God. We make that declaration and continue to proclaim that faith  in front of everything and anything that life may bring before us.

2nd Sunday of Easter 2020