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All Issues > Volume 20, Issue 3

<< Sunday, April 18, 2004 >> Second Sunday of Easter
Mercy Sunday

Acts 5:12-16
Revelation 1:9-11, 12-13, 17-19

View Readings
Psalm 118
John 20:19-31

Similar Reflections


"A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came." —John 20:26

We have a Church full of doubting Thomases. As Thomas later became a great missionary and martyr, so these doubting Thomases today are called to renew the face of the earth in the power of the Holy Spirit (see Ps 104:30). However, they must first be transformed from having little faith to having strong faith.

We have a Church full of fearful disciples. These Christians acknowledge that Jesus is risen. However, because these disciples are locked in fear (see Jn 20:19), the doubting Thomases of the Church find it difficult to believe the fearful disciples. Fear feeds doubt, and doubt makes us more susceptible to fear, which makes our doubts worse, trapping us in greater fears, etc.

Jesus broke this very vicious cycle by personally challenging Thomas' doubts and leading Him to faith. When Thomas cried out: "My Lord and my God" (Jn 20:28), he prepared the way for the reception of the Holy Spirit by Jesus' disciples at Pentecost. Because the Holy Spirit is not a spirit of fear but of faith (see 2 Tm 1:7), after Pentecost Jesus' disciples were fearless in leading others to faith, fearlessness, and greater faith. Fearlessness feeds faith.

Because you are alive, you are either in a cycle of fear and doubt or a cycle of fearlessness and faith. On this last day of the octave of Easter, come to the risen Jesus, Who will put you in the cycle leading to eternal life.

Prayer: Father, in Your mercy, challenge me to repent.
Promise: "There is nothing to fear. I am the First and the Last and the One Who lives. Once I was dead but now I live — forever and ever. I hold the keys of death and the nether world." —Rv 1:17-18
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24). Alleluia forever!
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 20, Issue 3
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