This Second Sunday after Easter brings us face-to-face with our old friends: the frightened apostles and Thomas. They still could not comprehend the reality of the Resurrection. All the post-resurrection accounts tell how the disciples simply just gave up. They huddled in a room behind locked doors. Peter decides to go fishing, thus returning to his former occupation. Two other disciples leave Jerusalem and head for home in Emmaus. They’re all thinking: “What’s the point? Why bother anymore? It was fun while it lasted but all good things come to an end.”
And then comes the turnaround Jesus appears, breathes the Spirit, and all is suddenly and dramatically changed. Instead of words of shame and blame, they receive words of encouragement. Thomas is treated as he needs to be … he needed some physical sign and Jesus respected that. But then He blessed those who have not seen but still believe. Peter and the apostles see him cooking breakfast for them on the lakeshore. Two men see him as a learned walking companion. In other words, Jesus meets us where we are at any given moment. He is not “out there” or “up there”… He is “right here.”
Our faith enables us to see Him in all the surroundings of our daily life. We see him especially in those people who bring him into our lives. And we also see and find him in all the sick, the weak, the oppressed, the people around us who drive us nuts yet provide us with opportunities to exercise the same compassion Jesus does towards them. We can even see Him in those who are hostile or who do harm to us, and we’re challenged to be Christ for them in our love and concern for their well-being.
To see and know Jesus in our lives means two things: recognizing when He comes to us, and at the same time, to be ready for day-to-day opportunities when we can bring Him into the lives of others.
Be God’s smile for someone today … that way you really live Easter!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.