Easter2C22. Acts of the Apostles 5:12-16. As Jesus worked many miracles to encourage people to accept him as the Messiah, so too his Apostles performed many miraculous deeds. Some were reluctant to believe, perhaps because they had fear of the Jewish authorities who crucified Jesus. Nonetheless, “great numbers of men and women” chose to believe.
John 20:19-31. Opening up this reading is like opening a huge treasure chest of sparkling jewels and precious metals. On that first Easter Sunday those, inside the room with the locked doors, arose from their fear and hopelessness to be filled with wondrous joy when Jesus entered. As God the Father had sent Jesus to bring salvation, so now Jesus sends his disciples to do the same. Then Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit to empower them to fulfill their God-given mission. Salvation or the capacity to enter into heaven requires one to be holy or sinless. In order to bring salvation the disciples were given the power to forgive the sins of those who would choose to accept salvation and to refuse it to those who would choose not to accept salvation. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles, was a man who only accepted what he saw physically and materially present to his eyes. The spiritual or the unseen was not yet something he was open to accept. Even though the rest of the Apostles told him that they had seen the risen Jesus, apparently Thomas thought they were hallucinating. So he demanded to not only see the risen Jesus, but to put his finger into the nailmarks and put his hand into Jesus’ side. When Jesus did appear to Thomas, stunned into belief, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Thomas was not only accepting the fact that Jesus had truly arisen but also that Jesus was divine. Jesus, speaking in a sense to us who have not seen, said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” In his glorious risen body, Jesus came with divine power and risen humanity. John, Apostle and author of this gospel, tells us that the various wonders, he has selected from among the many that Jesus performed, have been written so that we too “may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief (you) we may have life in his name.”
Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19. “Whether or not these visions were real experiences of the author or simply literary conventions employed by him is an open question.” (p. 1426, The New American Bible for Catholics) In John’s vision he experiences Jesus as the One who is arisen and is now “alive forever and ever.” Not only does he hold the “keys to death and the netherworld” but as Jesus himself said in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”