Devotional thoughts for New Sunday _ Sunday of the Youth. 23 rd April 06
- Reading: From the Gospel of St. John 20: 19-31.
Dear and Respected Brethren,
The main theme of today�s reading is the audience granted to the blessed
Apostles by our Lord and Savior for the first time after our Lord�s blessed
resurrection. By doing so our Lord has strengthened them by granting hope,
faith and converted them for the fieldwork of the Kingdom of God. The 19th
verse of today�s reading reminds that the incident, which we read in this
Biblical portion, happened on the first day of the week. The Apostles were
much frightened about the Jews and they were remaining inside the closed
doors of a room. They were not sure what to do next or how to escape from
the cruel Jews. Our Lord entered the room, without opening the door and
stood in the midst of the Apostles. He greeted them �Peace be unto you�.
When our Lord showed His arms with the holes of the nails, they got much
comfort, peace and braveness. They were totally free from all sorts of
tensions and worries. We read in St. John 16:20 about the joy of the
Apostles after the Lord�s resurrection. We could see the same sort of joy
experienced by the blessed Apostles, when they realized our Lord�s active
presence in person. In the 21st verse we read about our Lord, who entrusts
his disciples to continue his blessed mission of salvation in every nook and
corner of the world. Before entrusting the task, our Lord wishes them
�Peace�. Our Lord was reminding them not to worry if they might face some or
other disturbances, troubles or problems on their way to carry out the task
of salvation in the different parts of the Universe. We read a prophecy
about the mission work in Isaiah 61:1. Kindly read and meditate St. Matthew
28: 18-20, 2 Timothy 2:2 and Hebrews 3:1.
Again we read about granting the right to forgive the sins of the mankind.
So also our Lord consecrates them with H. Spirit. In the following verses we
read about the absence of St. Thomas on the spot when our Lord had reached
there. He gets the information about the visit of our Lord and the connected
incidents from his own colleagues. St. Thomas says clearly how he would
believe in the risen Lord. On this basis St. Thomas is considered by many as
doubting Thomas. When we would meditate this portion of the Holy Bible with
more care and attention, we would come to the conclusion that St. Thomas was
not at all a doubting person. It is a truth that our Patron Saint wanted
some concrete proof. In the next week our Lord appeared to the Apostles when
St. Thomas was also with others. See what happened then and there. Verse 26
says that our Lord uttered and wished �Peace� to all and called Thomas to
him and asked him to reach his finger and behold his hands and also to
thrust the hand of the Saint into the wound on the side of our Lord. Even
though it is not mentioned that St. Thomas had put his fingers/hand in to
the wounds of our Lord, St. John in his first epistle (1 St. John 1:1)
claims that the Apostles had touched the wounds of our Lord. There is no
reason to think that St. Thomas did not obey his Lord and Master. The
tradition says that when the other Apostles noticed the blood of our Lord on
the hand of St. Thomas, they all rushed to St. Thomas and kissed his hand.
And this incident is the beginning of our kissing the hand of the celebrant
(Priest/Bishop) after the Holy Sacrament of Eucharist. (As they too touch
the body and blood of our Lord) St. Thomas uttered his faith in the savior
and said in loud voice �My Lord and My God�. The Holy Church insists all the
faithful to say this faith at least once in a day, preferably in the morning
when we would see our Lord face to face.
Let us also look at our Lord and say bravely and with faith �My Lord and My
God�. Mat God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril