Eastertide 2C, April, 7, 2013

by xcrawford

Psalm and Gospel Lectionary reading for week Easter 2C

Psalm 118:14-29 (ESV)

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16     the right hand of the Lord exalts,
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
    up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

John 20:19-31 (ESV)

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

The Incredulity of St. Thomas- Caravaggio, 1602

Caravaggio’s famous painting from today’s Gospel reading shows Thomas inspecting the Lord’s wounds. We know that Thomas was having a Crisis of Faith after the Death of the Lord. Despite Thomas’s crisis of faith and season of doubt, God used Thomas to spread The Word. Church history tells us that after this encounter and rekindled Faith, Thomas took the Gospel to India. In the year 72, church tradition teaches that Thomas died a martyr’s death while he was kneeling in prayer.

Prayer in Time of Doubt

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Sometimes doubt assails me, making me confused and frightened.
I know that this is because we still walk in the shadows of faith while on earth, relying on the testimony of those who have seen and believed.
But I am still affected to some extent and somewhat shaken by such doubts. Make me realize that our doubts are the price which we have to pay for the fulfilment of the universe in Christ and the very condition of that fulfilment.
We must be prepared to press on to the end along a road on which each step makes us more certain, toward horizons that are ever more shrouded in mists.
All the while we bring forth fruits worthy of our new life such as charity, joy, and service of others. In so doing, we ourselves become for others living signs of the power of Christ’s resurrection which the Holy Spirit sets in motion in the Church. Amen.