Vocation Meditation -
2nd Sunday of Easter, 2009
Used with permission from ChristianComputerArt.Com
It was evening on the day Jesus rose from the dead, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
But Thomas, who was called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
After eight days his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
The tension caused by the fear of the Jews made the disciples gather together. They sought support from each other and to find meaning from the intense experiences of the past 3 days. As they sat there, Jesus was suddenly in their midst. He gave them the normal, everyday greeting: "Peace be to you!" Once more, they knew and believed Jesus was truly Risen!
Then Jesus gave the disciples the commission which the Church must never forget! As God had sent Him forth, so He sent them forth to the world. His one-line statement can be called 'The Charter of the Church'.
It means Jesus Christ needs the Church, which now is His Body. Jesus came with a message for all people but now He is going back to the Father. Jesus needs the Church to be the mouthpiece of His message, the feet to run His errands, the hands to do His work. Jesus needs His Church to continue His saving work.
It means that the Church needs Jesus. With Jesus, the Church has a message. With Him, it will have power and authority to back this message. With Him, the Church will have everything it needs to enlighten its mind, strengthen its arm and encourage its heart.
It means the Church must see that the relationship of Jesus in perfect obedience and love to the Father is the core of this commission given to the Church. It follows that the Church is fit to be the messenger and the instrument of salvation willed by Christ only when it perfectly loves Him and perfectly obeys Him. The Church must never be out to proclaim its own message save that of Christ. Fidelity to Christ is the staying power of the Church.
And then Thomas came to the picture. Faith was never an easy thing for him. Thomas embodies the vivid image of a Church that is human, making steps, little and big towards faith and fidelity. Jesus had faith and love in Thomas. Called to believe, Thomas made a leap of faith in the Risen Jesus and declared a faith statement that is rock solid and true. Thomas is each one of us!
Fidelity to Christ is the staying power of my vocation.
How much of the "Thomas" in me needs to be shed off to make leaps of faith and courage to serve the Church now and always?
You send those you called to be the Church in mission. Make my faith and love in You rock solid. Let me see Your relationship to the Father and the Church at the core of my vocation. Let this make my journey selfless, dedicated and true. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.