East2B21. Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35. “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” Those resources “were distributed to each according to their need.” It is my understanding that they were expecting Jesus to come relatively soon and so they were preparing for that coming by living in common without personal possessions. (Please read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.) What stands out is their great faith in Jesus.
John 20:19-31. “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.” As Jesus calls upon his disciples to be witnesses to who Jesus is and what Jesus had accomplished, so too the gospels were written to be witness to him and to call us to the faith that will give us eternal life. Jesus gives his disciples the Holy Spirit who will enable them to bring to people a faith in Jesus. In receiving the Holy Spirit the disciples are given the power to aid the Holy Spirit in his work of the sanctification of humanity through the power to forgive sins so to turn people from sin so to become the holy children of God. Thomas, who represents the ordinary down to earth people who have to learn to rise up to heaven even as they walk on the dirt of this earth, rejects the idea of resurrection from the dead as lacking in any commonsense. Confronting Thomas, Jesus calls upon him and all of us to put our faith in what is divine and not earthly: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”
1 John 5:1-6. John the evangelist wrote, “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God?” Followers of Jesus live in the world but do not put our faith in a world that only believes in a life that is from cradle to grave. The Holy Spirit, who is Jesus’ gift to us, enables us to live in the truth, the eternal reality. “For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments,” that is, we are obedient to his will which is far more than the Ten Commandments. The struggle to be submissive to his will is the cross that is love. Jesus showed by his death on the cross that true love comes at a great sacrificial cost.