Sunday, April 19, 2009

Peace, Doubt, Belief, Signs

Following two relaxing days of visiting some old college friends in Los Angeles, I arrived early this morning in NYC via the JetBlue red-eye from Long Beach to JFK. After a few hours of sleep back at my place, I ventured out to the 12:45 p.m. Mass in English at nearby St. Patrick's Old Cathedral.

(I think 12:45 p.m. is a great time for Mass -- perfect for the occasional lazy Sunday morning. It's the fourth Mass each Sunday at Old St. Pat's. There's an earlier Mass in English followed by Masses in Chinese and Spanish.)

For Western Christians, today is the second Sunday of Easter. For Catholics, it is also "Divine Mercy Sunday."

The Gospel at Mass included the account of Jesus' post-Resurrection appearance to the disciples, as well as the story of "Doubting Thomas."

From John Chapter 20:

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."

But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."

Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe."

Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But 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.

Deacon Greg looks at the example of the inspiring Susan Boyle of "Britain's Got Talent" fame in his homily on Divine Mercy and Doubting Thomas.

Meanwhile, A Concord Pastor is considering doubt. The good pastor also has posted multiple images illustrating today's Gospel passage (including the one used above).

And, last but not least, Amy is recalling that today is also the fourth anniversary of the election of B16 and the 14th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

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