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Father Muench Says...

Along came Lacy... an Easter moment

April 18, 2018

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

On the Sunday after Easter, I was waiting at the front door of the Church on Sunday morning.  I was vested and waiting to begin Mass.  Along came a young girl, named Lacy, who had a picture for me that she had colored herself.  I remember that the picture was a garden scene.  It was truly nicely done for such a youngster.

It turned out to be a special Easter moment for me.  I believe it was God’s Easter surprise for me.  It truly sparked up that Mass and that day.  It brought alive the resurrection for me – a message of new life.

Now a little about the Gospel story that Sunday.  This Gospel was about the appearance of Jesus to the apostles when Thomas was not present.  Jesus enters with peace and love and says “Peace be with you.” 

Somewhere I heard this idea.  This person suggested that Jesus should have scolded the apostles when he appeared to them.  They had deserted him when he was arrested.  They did not walk with him when he walked to Calvary – they did not stand at the foot of the cross.  They didn’t want anyone to know that they were part of Jesus’ group. 

Yet, Jesus never mentioned any of that.  He blesses them with the Holy Spirit to forgive sins.  Jesus sends them forth on his mission – a mission of forgiveness.

Today, there is a question for us.  How would I or you have reacted in that situation? Would I have supported Jesus? Would I have stood at the cross And now, do I live a life that demonstrates to others that I am a follower of Jesus?

Then there is the Thomas’ story.  I believe that Thomas was not with the other apostles when Jesus appeared to them because he was upset.  He was severely disturbed at the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus.  This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Thomas lost all his faith and separated himself from the other apostles. He was also upset with the fact that he had deserted Jesus, probably denying he was part of Christ’s group.

Before I criticize Thomas, I must admit that there have been times – too many times – when I simply separated myself from God because I was unhappy about things that were happening to me.  And, there have been times I separated myself from the Lord because of my sins, my embarrassment that I had acted so poorly.

When Thomas returns to the apostles, he is still upset. And when they tell him that they have seen the Lord, Thomas can’t accept this, he is so disturbed.  He states that he will not believe unless he touches Christ’s wounds on his hands and feet and side.  Of course, when Jesus appeared, Thomas believes, saying, “My Lord and My God.”

Like Thomas, we will discover the Lord’s presence in our lives when we have the opportunity to touch the wounds of Jesus.  The Lord has many ingenious ways of placing these opportunities in our lives.  So many times, we will realize that we are certain of the presence in our lives.  There are times in which we can truly touch the wounds of the Lord.  For me, l even simple surprising things like a child giving me a picture.

Jesus, finally, ends by telling Thomas and us how much stronger our faith should be  Jesus says, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” 

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