Today’s Gospel, John 20:24-29, finds the apostle Thomas putting a condition on his faith. He was absent when Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. When told about Jesus’ visit, he replied, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Thomas is a devoted follower of Jesus but his faith is conditioned. He wants proof! … and he spells out what he wants. Jesus; however, wants faith without conditions. Later He appears again to the disciples with Thomas present and says to him – and note that He is also saying this to you and to me this day – “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
So often in life, we are asked to believe – to take Jesus seriously – with absolute faith – no conditions. He promises us that our faith will not be in vain.
Today is God’s gift to me.
Whether it goes my way or not, God is with me.
So much depends upon my frame of mind.
I can put my hands in God’s Hands and let God guide me today or I can resist or try to do it my way. I will only be frustrated and empty.
The key is to accept today as it unfolds knowing that it is a gift from God.
Happy are the merciful, those who remember how much has been forgiven them, and are able to extend this forgiveness into the lives of others.
Pope Francis’ encyclical letter is an urgent call for action. Look it up on the internet. Just type in Laudato Si. I am in the process of reading it – meditating on it.
Paragraph #49 concludes: “Today; however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
Care for mother Earth cannot be divorced from justice for the poor, especially the poorest of the poor.
After supper last night , I took a walk down to the CVS not too far from the monastery. I needed to pick up some batteries for my flashlight. In front of me at the checkout line was a fortyish year old woman with two little girls – about 8 and ten years old. The woman had a few food items and each of the little girls had picked up a small bag of candy. When it came time to pay, the woman did not have enough money for everything and told one of the girls that she would have to leave behind her bag of candy and that the two of them would have to share the one bag. Both girls looked sad especially the one who would have to leave her bag behind. After a few awkward moments, the sixtyish year old man at the cash register told the girl to keep her bag of candy. She declined but he told her that he was giving it to her as a gift. Her mother nodded ok and the little girl left with the “gift.” When they had left the store, the man discreetly took out his wallet, removed three dollars and put it in the cash register. He then took his change and closed the cash register. I had lowered my eyes to avoid embarrassing him. I did my transaction and left with a prayer for this man who was so sensitive and responsive to the little girl.
There is so much good in our world. It’s easy to get absorbed with all that is wrong with our world and its people. How important it is to remember the good – so many little deeds of kindness done every day by ordinary people. Praise God!