AS A DISCIPLE | PRAY, STUDY, ENGAGE, SERVE
“I’ll believe it when I see it.” We’ve all said this at some point, usually in response to hearing about an unreliable person doing something out of character. St. Thomas had the same reaction in today’s Gospel when he wasn’t there and the other disciples saw Christ for the first time since he rose from his tomb. “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.” Although Jesus helped Thomas with his unbelief, he blesses those who have not seen, but believe. Have any of us seen the nail marks in Christ’s hands and feet, or the wound in his side? Do we see Christ’s body and blood on the altar, or do we see only the gifts of bread and wine? Christ comes to us in ways we can understand initially – parables, bread and wine, the face of people we meet throughout our daily lives – but our faith in what we have not seen, in the great mystery of our salvation, is what makes us Christian.
EVANGELIZE PRAYER, INVITATION, WITNESS, ACCOMPANIMENT
In today’s first reading, we hear reports of the lives of the first disciples soon after Pentecost: communal living, breaking bread together, prayer, selling of their property and possessions and redistributing among themselves according to individual needs. To our ears today, this idyllic community living seems almost incredible. Yet these first disciples were infused with the Holy Spirit, who enabled them to proclaim the Gospel and think of others before themselves. As Christ’s disciples today, how are we behaving toward one another? If we truly are among those who have not seen and yet believe, let’s act in full confidence. As we heard in the second reading, our faith is “more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire.” We certainly aren’t perfect, and our faith at times can be sorely tested, and yet this is our call: to share this faith by doing good works in Christ’s name to make disciples and build the kingdom of God.
People often see Christ through the words and actions of others. This week, actively seek out opportunities to be the hands of Christ. What opportunities does your family or community have to practice corporal works of mercy?