2nd Sunday of Easter Year C
‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’
God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose blood they have been redeemed.
We are Easter people, and in the Spirit of Easter, we are sent out to share the joy of the Resurrection throughout the world.
In today’s familiar Gospel story, the risen Christ appears to the disciples in the upper room on the day of Resurrection. Jesus breathes his spirit on them, sending them out to spread his message of love, forgiveness and peace. Thomas is not with them on this day, and cannot see beyond his own loss and grief. But eight days later, Jesus returns to the same room and reveals the reality of his Resurrection to Thomas in an intimate way. Thomas is liberated from his fear and doubt, and exclaims ‘My Lord and my God!’
In the First Reading from Acts, the Early Church is filled with the same Easter spirit that Jesus breathed upon the disciples. The growing Christian community gathers together in a public place, and people are amazed at the signs and wonders worked by the apostles through the Holy Spirit. Praying together and praising God, the community would have been familiar with today’s Easter Psalm, which continues the song of gratitude, joy and celebration which we prayed on Easter Sunday.
In the Second Reading from the Book of the Apocalypse, John, possessed by the Holy Spirit, tells of his vision of the Universal Christ: the First and the Last, the Living One who has overcome death for ever.
Let us pray that our hearts may be open to recognising the Risen Christ present amongst us. May his words of peace drive out all our fear and doubt, and may we have the confidence to go out joyfully, transforming the world through the love of Christ.