3rd Easter Sunday Year A - 26/4/2020 - Gospel: Lk 24: 13-35
Doubt no longer but Believe
The Risen Christ told Thomas: Doubt no longer but believe.... You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe'. (Jn 20,29).

'Doubt no longer but believe' Jesus said to Thomas and to all the apostles and to all of us 'who have never seen and yet believe'.

Jesus directly told Thomas, that He had Risen from death. Before that the other apostles told him, they had seen the Lord. Thomas said: 'Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe' (Jn 20,25). What Thomas demanded was extraordinary, because no human could satisfy his request. God alone could, not men. Benefitting from his request, eight days later, Jesus appeared to the apostles again. Christians, also profited from Thomas' request when Jesus told him: 'happy are those who have not seen and yet believe'. Thomas requested to put his fingers into the holes from where the Roman nailed Jesus to His cross. When the opportunity arrived, Thomas had no courage to do so, but publicly confessed: 'My Lord and my God'.( Jn 20,28). Thomas was not alone in this, all other apostles didn't believe, that Jesus had Risen from the dead. They heard news from the women, who early on the first day of the week, went to the tomb. These women met Jesus, and returned to tell them, but the apostles doubted. However, none of them had the courage to say it aloud. Thomas was the only one who spoke, and earned the name 'The Doubting Thomas'. We thank him for his courage, and for his honesty. He probably was the last apostle to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.

'Doubt no longer but believe'
applied to other apostles too, because the apostles had doubted the news from the women, that Jesus had risen. After hearing the report from the women, two of the apostles- Peter and the one Jesus loved- ran to the tomb to test the truth of what the women had said. They saw nothing, except the empty tomb, and the burial linen folded neatly, of him they saw nothing (Lk 24,12). When the apostles saw Jesus at Galilee, some of them believed, others hesitated (Mat 28,17). The Emmaus' account reported, that as two of the apostles returned home, they met Jesus on the road, but didn't recognize him, until they saw him break the bread. Instantly they returned to tell the other apostles, but they didn't believe the two (Mk 16,13).

'Doubt no longer but believe'
applies to every one of us. We are blessed because we 'have not seen and yet believe'. Many believe Jesus' teaching is a history. We believe Jesus' teaching is current because faith is a living reality. The question of Jesus' resurrection is undebatable, because it is beyond human capacity to prove or disprove. Thomas asked for it, and none of his friends could satisfy his request. Jesus' apostles preached nothing of their own, but only said what they had seen, and what they had heard from Jesus. Their teaching was authentic to the point that they went through endless pain, and all shed their blood for the faith they dearly believed. The command, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation' (Mk 16,16) is their mission and ours also.

Now is the question of trust
. The apostles had three years under Jesus' leadership. Would that be long enough for the apostles to trust each other? Three years of trusting took only one day to destroy. Judas, a trusted apostle, who took charge of the common fund, betrayed Jesus. His betrayal weakened the trust amongst the apostles. Peter once said, 'even if these betray you, I will not' Jn 14,29. Peter failed twenty four hours later. He denied knowing Jesus. If Judas' betrayal weakened the trust amongst the apostles; Peter's weakness completely destroyed their trust for each other. Peter was the leader of the group, and failed to show his fidelity. Others would fall into the same pit. Thomas requiring proof, was reasonable. Meeting them again, Jesus gave them a new hope. The Risen Lord infused His trust in them, and reignited their trust in Him. What the Risen Lord gave was Spirit, 'What is born of the Spirit is spirit' (Jn 3,7).

A new heart- Jesus' heart was broken, because one of the soldiers pierced his side. His death broke the apostles' hearts. Thomas demanded to put his hand on Jesus' broken heart. Instead of him touching Jesus' broken heart, Jesus touched their broken hearts and healed them. Jesus healed His apostles' broken hearts by saying to them 'peace be with you'. A broken heart has no peace, only a healthy heart has peace. Seeing Jesus the apostles' hearts filled with joy- their hearts healed. Alleluia.