Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy) ABC: Reflections - Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy) ABC: Reflections - Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Acts 2:42-47; Ps 118:2-4,13-15,22-24; 1 Pet 1:3-9 (A); Acts 4:32-35; 1 John 5:1-6 (B); Acts 5:12-16; Rev 1:9-11a, 12-13,17-19 (B) and John 20:19-31 (ABC)
Deeping our Hands into the Wounds of Christ!
From Easter Sunday to Pentecost the Church celebrates those fifty days that the Risen Jesus goes around  by his appearances strengthening the faith of his “seemingly” disillusioned disciples over the events of the Cross. It was a supernatural event beyond the powers of Anna, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin and Pilate. Even it took a while, for friends of Christ, his mother, Mary Magdalene, his disciples, the apostles, especially Thomas, being human like any of us to come to  faithful witness to the mystery of the Resurrection (John 20:24-29).
They needed the power of Christ’s Peace to calm their fears and be strengthened in the supernatural gifts of faith and fortitude by the Holy Spirit, wherever they were hiding for fear of persecution . You will recall the other day, in Luke Chapter 24: 13-35, at Emmaus, when Jesus walked besides Cleopas and his friend on their return from Jerusalem, clouded in sad conversation they did not recognized Jesus until the Risen Christ spent time breaking bread with them. Besides, walking with his disciples, or breaking bread with them in other appearances, he ate  baked fish with them ( Lk 24:35-48) and also gave them encouraging instruction by the beach at the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-14)
In today’s Gospel  the Risen Lord invites Thomas to touch his wounds (John 20:19-31); wounds that heals Thomas and our faithlessness; wounds that replaces lack of peace with Peace of Christ; wounds that replaces the spirit of darkness with God’s Spirit of LIGHT. Thomas touches wounds of testimony to truth, courage, unlimited mercy and love Christ has loved us.  He touches wounds of love, unity, communion and the sharing of the early Christian Community.

Christ's Events: his Life, Death, Resurrection, Appearances, his Ascension and even the promise of the Holy Spirit warranted testimonies, faith witnessing and the preaching of the early Church ‘they devoted themselves to teaching of the apostles and to the communal life (Konoinia), breaking of bread and to the prayers…” (Acts 2:42-47). Moreover, “they were of one heart and mind and no one claim that any on his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the Apostles bore witness to the Resurrection of Christ…” (Acts 4:32-35). Their witnesses were blessed with the spirit of sharing, communing with one another; that same communion that our first communion friends and children will be sharing with us during these Sundays, between now and the Pentecost.

Like Mary Magdalene, Peter, Cleopas, Thomas and the Eleven Disciples we all do have moments of doubt ,uncertainties, confusions, disbelief, hopeless and frustrations. Let us deep our hands of brokenness and selfishness into those wounds of Christ!  And be faith- filled and healed by the wounded healer! 

Even as we deep our fingers into the communion plates and drink from those cups, may we be strengthened in faith to say with Thomas “my Lord and My God.”  And may our society and the Church be blessed with fruitful Evangelization, Spirit of Sharing, Peace, Love (1 John 5:1-6), hope (1 Pet 1:3-9), faith and Unity. And may our families, streets, neighborhood, churches and workplaces continue to be channels and conduits for the transmission of the faith in the Risen Christ.