2nd Sunday of Easter


Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:16
John 20:19-31


Today is the octave of the great feast of Easter, the Lord’s resurrection from everything that held back the full radiance of the life of God.

The opening prayer for the feast asks God to “kindle the faith of the people you have made your own”.  We pray that all may grasp and rightly understand in which font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn”.  What a beautiful entry into the risen life of Easter!

Then, we are taken to see the infant community that is born of the love of Jesus poured out for all of us. It is a lovely and somewhat idealised picture of that community. “The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul. Everything they owned they held in common.” What they held in common not limited to their possessions, their things. They shared their reputations, their hopes and even their failures! The gospel passage reminds us that “eight days later, Jesus came again and stood among them.” His message does not vary. He says to them” Peace be with you” and he showed them his hands and his side. Again, the disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord.” 

Those words of shalom, of Peace, were not spoken and given to them in a moment of peace and calm and quiet. They were spoken in the midst of memories that were filled with fear and hostility, and revenge so recently poured out on them. Even Thomas who missed out on seeing the risen Lord first time round was singled out to have his faith restored this time. Jesus, now the risen Lord whom no one had recognised at his first risen appearance, reaches out to Thomas and gives him strength to finally believe. Maybe Thomas is a real gift to us all we struggle to make sense of resurrection and we struggle with our uncertainties. Mybe Thomas is just a little more honest that I am sometimes as I struggle to really believe and to really trust. There are many reasons to find it hard to trust these days with all the cruelty, competition, and bitterness flying around in the world.  Maybe the real challenge is to see if we can genuinely offer each other the gift of real peace. And maybe we need to learn again that resurrection happens in our spirits as we dare to trust that “all will be well.” 

Fr. Kevin Dance CP is the vicar of the St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville. He is very actively involved in ministries locally and at Passionist International where he served as the Executive Director for many years.