2nd Sunday of Easter (A) 2017

‘Jesus said to him. Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’ It is not just Thomas who found it hard to believe that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead. All the Apostles had the same problem. We read; ‘When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.’ ‘The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.’ ‘Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them.’ The Apostles had to see or at least experience the presence of the Risen Lord in some way before they could believe. It was not sufficient for them to be told. I suppose there are people who can believe in the Risen Lord just because they have been told by people they can trust. There are people who can believe in the Risen Lord (in God) by their power of deduction, reasoning and logic. Many act as if they believe because it is the safest option. But for most of us our belief is, at least halfhearted unless we have had some experience of the Risen Lord. These experiences can be as different as the persons who experience them and can be meaningless if explained to others. They are personal to the person. It is very often through suffering, rejection, failure and other types of distress that we receive these experiences. It can be an ability to forgive, the diminution of anger or hurt, the ability to love or the realisation of being loved etc. etc. I do not know if one should actively seek or pray for such an experience. It seems that our God visits these experiences on his beloved children in his own good time and when they are capable of receiving them. The general idea is to keep the door open at all times.