Monday, April 2, 2018

My Lord and My God - April 8, 2018

The Second Sunday of Easter  -  Year B

Reading I:  Acts 4:32-35

Psalm:  118

Reading II:  1 John 5:1-6 

Gospel:  John 20-19-31

In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus in his glorified body appearing to his frightened disciples and bringing them peace. They have the doors locked in their gathering room because of fear of being punished because of their association
with Jesus.

The doors are no obstacle to the risen body of Jesus. Keenly aware of the terror in the hearts of his followers, with deep compassion, He comes to reassure them that He is still with them.

What relief and joy must have been in the hearts of the disciples to see Jesus again.  Having strengthened His followers, Jesus then commissions them to carry the “Good News” to others, saying:  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Then, He gives the power to forgive sins in His name to the first disciples, which is passed down to our current priests.

Although we know that it is God who forgives sins, Jesus is aware of the comfort of hearing a human voice give absolution in His name. As Catholics, we are blessed to be able to hear the words of forgiveness and sometimes receive guidance on how to avoid the sins again. We don’t have to wonder whether we are cleansed from our sins. We have the reassurance that our sins are forgiven if we are sincere in our sorrow for sin and have received the blessing of absolution from a priest.

We can recognize the Shepherd Heart of Jesus, as he makes a second appearance to the disciples because the disciple Thomas was missing when he appeared the first time. Thomas could not believe that Jesus had appeared to the others. Therefore, Jesus reaches out to him and shows Thomas his wounded hands and allows him to place his hand into the large sword wound on his side.

This compassionate response to Thomas called forth a powerful expression of faith from him: “My Lord and My God!” There is so much deep meaning in those words of Thomas! Jesus is our God, Creator from whom all we are and have come. In praise and gratitude, we can make Him the Lord of our life: the one whose will we obey, and whom our hearts love and adore.

What a gift — that simple, yet awesome, prayer from St. Thomas...
My Lord and My God!

 Reflection Question:   How can I make St. Thomas’ prayer a part of
my life?

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
My Lord and My God

En el Evangelio de hoy, vemos a Jesús en su cuerpo glorificado apareciéndose a sus discípulos asustados y trayendo paz. Tienen las puertas cerradas en su sala de reunión por temor a ser castigadas debido a su asociación con Jesús.

Las puertas no son obstáculo para el cuerpo resucitado de Jesús. Muy consciente del terror en los corazones de sus seguidores, con profunda compasión, viene a asegurarles que todavía está con ellos.

Qué alivio y alegría debe habter habido en los corazones de los discípulos para ver a Jesús otra vez. Habiendo fortalecido a Sus seguidores, Jesús los encomienda a llevar las “Buenas Nuevas” a otros, diciendo:  “Como el Padre me envió, así te envío.”  Luego, Él da el poder de perdonar los pecados en Su nombre al primero discípulos, que se transmite a nuestros sacerdotes actuales.

Aunque sabemos que es Dios quien perdona los pecados, Jesús está consciente de la comodidad de escuchar una voz humana dar absolución en Su nombre. Como católicos, tenemos la bendición de poder escuchar las palabras de perdón
y, a veces, recibir orientación sobre cómo evitar los pecados nuevamente. No tenemos que preguntarnos si estamos limpios de nuestros pecados. Tenemos la seguridad de que nuestros pecados serán perdonados si somos sinceros en nuestro dolor por el pecado y hemos recibido la bendición de la absolución de
un sacerdote.

Podemos reconocer el Corazón del Pastor de Jesús, ya que hace una segunda aparición a los discípulos porque el discípulo Tomás desapareció cuando apareció la primera vez. Thomas no podía creer que Jesús se había aparecido a los demás. Por lo tanto, Jesús se acerca a él y le muestra a Tomás sus manos heridas y le permite colocar su mano en la gran herida de su costado.

Esta respuesta compasiva a Tomás provocó una poderosa expresión de fe por parte de él: “¡Mi Señor y Dios mío!” ¡Hay tanto significado profundo en esas palabras de Tomás! Jesús es nuestro Dios, Creador de quien somos y hemos venido. En alabanza y gratitud, podemos hacer de Él el Señor de nuestra vida: aquel a quien obedecemos y a quien nuestro corazón ama y adora.

Qué regalo, esa sencilla, pero increíble, oración de Santo Tomás ...
¡Mi Señor y Dios mío!

 Pregunta de reflexión:   ¿Cómo puedo hacer que la oración de Santo Tomás sea parte de mi vida?


  1. Having considered the depths of fear and grief that the disciples must have experienced during the passion and crucifixion of their beloved Jesus, one can indeed imagine the height of their joy in encountering the Risen Lord. I like the phrase you chose to describe the tenderness of Jesus– that of the Shepherd Heart – for Jesus’ kindness to Thomas is a very powerful demonstration of the unfathomable love of God for us. Jesus did not lecture Thomas or shame him. Author Marina McCoy writes, “To Thomas, Jesus offers the closeness of touch and a chance to believe again and then recommends having faith in the absence of sight.” His approach with Peter is similar. Jesus gives Peter a chance to speak for love in place of the three denials he had spoken the night of Jesus’ arrest. “Do you love me?” and “Lord, you know that I love you,” are like a “choral refrain”, to use McCoy’s phrase, “and Jesus follows each refrain with mission: feed my lambs, tend my flock, and follow me.” In both instances Jesus’ response was not to dwell on the past or go into reasons why Thomas reacted the way he did or why Peter betrayed him. Instead Jesus focused on healing, peace and love.
    I hear Thomas’ prayer as a sigh, expressing a depth of love, gratitude, and surrender which I can easily whisper whenever I feel disillusioned, overwhelmed, fearful or skeptical. “My Lord and My God,” hear me and know I love Thee.
    Pat C., ASBS

  2. Sr. Therese M. Warner, SBSApril 3, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    Yes! Who can even begin to express the profundity of those five precious words uttered by St. Thomas? Thank you for helping us to appreciate the significance of his reaction, Sister.

    The following excerpts are from a communication delivered by the
    Association of Catholic Priests:

    "Just as the disciples were unmoved by the hopeful enthusiasm of Mary Magdalene who had seen he Lord, so Thomas was unmoved by the witness of the disciples who told him that they, too, had seen the Lord. ... 'Unless I see, I can't believe.' "

    "As he had done with the other disciples, the Lord takes Thomas on his own terms. He accommodates Himself to Thomas's conditions
    and says, 'Put your finger here.'"

    "The Gospel today implies that the Lord meets us wherever we are. He takes us seriously in all our fears and doubts. The Lord is prepared to stand with us on our own ground, whatever that ground is, and from there He will speak to us a word suited to our personal state of mind and heart. We don't have to get ourselves in some particular place in order for the Lord to engage with us. He takes Himself to where we are, whenever it is a place of fear or doubt. We might pray this Easter season for the openness to receive the Lord's coming into the concrete corners of our own lives so that we, too, might say with Thomas, 'My Lord and my God!' We might also pray that, like the Lord, we would receive others where they are, rather than where we would like them to be."