A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE “A” – 4/27/14 – SMG
Pax et Bonum!
We’ve probably all had experiences where someone told us to reach right in there and grab something, maybe even against our better instincts, and we did, and what happens doesn’t work out the way that it was supposed to. This seems to have happened to me a lot. When I was a kid, my Uncle told me to reach right in there and grab that doggie toy away from his dog. Purposively, this was so that I could play fetch with the dog. But that’s not what happened. The dog was mad, and it bit me. And we were never friends again after that. Then there was the time that I was holding a wrench for my Dad under the hood of my car. And he said, reach right in there and hold that wrench in place. And I did, but I also brushed my on the hot exhaust manifold, and got burned. Then again there was the time that our Scout Leader was teaching us to solder on an electrical board. He told me to reach right in there with the soldering gun and get the job done. I did as I was told, and when the soldering gun hit the metal work bench, I got shocked. It’s like, after awhile, you start to get a little protective of your hands. Today, when people say that to me, “reach right in there and grab a hold of that!”, I get a little nervous. It makes me wonder, am I going to get bit, or burnt, or shocked? It’s like those swamp people on television, who fish using their hands as bait, as they reach under the bank of the river looking for big fish. Oh sure, reach right in there!
Maybe, St. Thomas had some similar experiences, I don’t know. But St. Thomas really isn’t very bashful or afraid about putting his finger into the nail holes and his hand into Jesus’ side. In fact, it is Thomas’ idea! He says, that the only way that he will believe that Jesus is risen from the dead, is to reach right in there, and touch His wounds. Jesus gives St. Thomas that opportunity, and he does come to believe. In fact, we know that St. Thomas will have such a strong Faith, that in just a few short years, he too will lay down his life for Christ.
What is true is that it still took a lot of courage for St. Thomas to ask to do what he did, and then also to actually do what he did. And maybe that radical courage that St. Thomas shows us in our Gospel on this Second Sunday of Easter is exactly what we most need to focus on today. When it comes to our seeking the Risen Christ, there are many, many times that we too need to be courageous. Sometimes, we too need the guts to just reach right in there and experience God at the end of our hands. But if we’re never reaching out, if we’re never digging in with our hands, if we are never giving God the chance to prove Himself to us, so often then we’re not going to see and experience Him. This is especially true of seeing and recognizing God in our own lives, right in front of us! It is NOT that God isn’t there. And it is NOT that God isn’t working, like He took a vacation or something. Sometimes you gotta have real courage, and real Faith, and an ability to make a leap of Faith in order to see the wonders that He has done. What if Thomas never asked Jesus to put his finger into the nail holes, or his hand into Jesus’ side? Maybe Thomas never would have believed. But because he had courage and took that leap of Faith, St. Thomas is rewarded with an experience that inspires all of us, even today!
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Today God wants to prove His love and His way. Today God wants to take away our sins. Today Jesus wants to prove to each one of us just how real and how powerful He really is. But that’s not going to happen if we are so afraid to reach out to Him! Sometimes all of us must do what each one of us needs to do, to make Faith happen. And just sitting there, wondering about Faith, isn’t enough. Sometimes you got to get your hands dirty. Sometimes you gotta reach out. And sometimes you are going to get bit, or burnt, or shocked, but that’s not always such a bad thing, IF it leads you to real Faith.
May St. Thomas’ example inspire all of us to dig in there, and not be afraid! God is on our side. He wants all of us to believe!
May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!