Today is the Second Sunday of Easter: In the Gospel today we hear about Thomas’s refusal to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel also tells us that Thomas was called a twin. We read: “Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve was not with them when Jesus came” (John 20:24). Why did the writer of the Gospel throw that detail in? Maybe his twin was one of the more well known people in the early community, but we don’t know, who this twin was, so speculation abounds. We know that it was not Peter and Andrew, James or John because they are listed as brothers and not triplets. Maybe he was Matthew’s twin or maybe Mary Magdalene was his twin sister. Or maybe Judas Iscariot and that is why the twin’s name is not mentioned. However all that is speculation! Maybe all of us are Thomas’s twin! We are all a mixture of fear and doubt, pessimism and trust, belief and unbelief. Our human condition has such a hankering for certainty. We would like to be certain that our spouse without a shadow of doubt really loves us, that we really count to somebody in the world, and that no matter what happens, that there is someone who loves us with a deep, unconditional love. We want to be the apple, the sun, the moon of somebody’s eye. If we had that as a certainty, we could put up with an awful lot? Couldn’t we? But the fact is that we do not have that certainty and so we become Thomas’s twin! What does the Scripture say about that condition? It doesn’t give a direct answer, it leaves room for faith. Thomas was absent when Jesus first appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection. Was he away grieving the loss of Jesus on his own? This was Thomas’s mistake. Even though he was depressed, withdrawn and shattered he should not have left the community because he could never find his way by himself. Self-direction can lead to self-deception. Thomas needed some kind of faith, and faith is gained and shared and matured with others. Faith is doubt positioned in hope. And where does hope come from? It comes from other people. All of us have doubts, but to cope with them, we need each other. This pandemic is preventing us all from meeting together to be supported in prayer. We miss that support. One of the lessons we can take from the Gospel is to stick with our faith community. Like Thomas, we must remain in or return to our faith community and there we too must cry out, “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28) even when that’s more of a question than it is a statement. We are all at different stages of our faith journey – it is a pilgrimage parade! Some are up in the front of the pilgrimage without any doubts and others are in the back, trailing up the hindquarters, not sure that they should even be in the parade to begin with. They are just about hanging on to the faith. Most of us are in the middle of the pilgrimage. We are wavering between moving up front and lagging behind. No matter where we are in our pilgrimage – and it is perfectly all right to be of strong faith or weak faith – the important thing is simply to be on the pilgrimage at all. That is the sign of vitality. It is a sign I haven’t, like Thomas, absented myself and withdrawn, because then I really will go wrong. I’m not my own measurement. I need the witness and I need the discernment of others. I could not survive in my faith, in my religion, or this Catholic Church without you. I hope you cannot survive without one another, wherever we are in this parade.
Thank you for your very generous contributions towards the upkeep of the Graan over the Holy Week festivities. Thanks also to all those who used the DONATE button on our web-site. Thanks to our Ministers of the Eucharist, and especially our ushers who helped in the smooth running of the Easter ceremonies
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DUTY FOR THE WEEK: No Confessions on Monday. Mon – Mass @ 7pm – Charles.
Confessions 2 – 5pm Tues – Fri & 5pm – pm – Saturday. Tues: Charles. Wed: Charles. Thurs – Charles. Fri – Arthur. Sat – Arthur.
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