Happy Friday, Ursuline! This week's Gospel Preview is for the first Sunday following Easter, also called "Divine Mercy Sunday". Please feel free to leave your prayer intentions here, have a great weekend!
This Gospel reading begins on the evening of Easter Sunday, with the disciples in a locked room, in fear that the Jews would find them. Then Jesus appeared in the room with them and said, "Peace be with you," and showed them his hands and side, where he had been pierced. The disciples were very happy to see Jesus, and He said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." He continued, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." The disciple Thomas had not been with them when Jesus appeared, and later he met the other disciples who told him that they had seen Jesus. But Thomas replied, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
A week later, the disciples were together in a locked room again with Thomas was present. Jesus came again into the room and said, "Peace be with you." Then He told Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring you hand and put it to my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Realizing that it really was Jesus, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." The passage continues to say that there were many other things that Jesus did in the presence of the disciples that are not written down. It concludes: "These are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name."
The scene of the disciples in hiding shows their fear and misunderstanding of Jesus’ death. At the end of last week’s passage, the disciples did not yet understand the Resurrection. In this meeting though, the disciples come to believe. Although it’s easy to miss, the passage says that Jesus comes to them in the locked room, meaning that He does not need to open the doors to come inside in His Resurrected body. During His ministry, Jesus promised peace multiple times to his followers. Even though the disciples have been unbelieving and in hiding, Jesus is not angry. Instead, he first offers peace. Jesus also calls the disciples to go out, and gifts them with authority from the Holy Spirit. In John 7:39, it says that “The Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.” Now that Jesus has risen from the dead and has been glorified, He is able to give the disciples the Holy Spirit.
In this passage, Jesus meets the disciples and proclaims, "Peace be with you." This is the first thing he says as he forgives the disciples for not being there for him in time of need. If we doubt God, he will forgive us and accept us no matter what. Especially this weekend, we recognize God's mercy and love. The disciples must trust in Jesus's promises, as an individual should not need to see to believe. We must learn from Thomas and trust in the power of the Lord. Even though we may not have seen a large miraculous miracle or event, the Lord works in the littlest ways, and he is always with us if we recognize it or not. We must trust in the Lord that he is with us every step of the way.
Have I ever doubted the power of God?
How can I remember that God is always walking beside me?
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Written by Maddie Colbert '22 and Ava Place '23
Illustrated by Elle de la Garza '22