By Father Andrew Kelly
It is Sunday, “the first day of the week,” and the Lord has gathered the believing community. The scene is Sunday’s Gospel. (John 20:19-31)
The problem is that the community, like John’s community and multiple generations since, may have forgotten why it is gathered. John’s Gospel proclaims the reason for the gathering.
The community forgets that the Risen Jesus penetrates locked doors and frozen, hardened souls of paralyzed disciples. Once the risen Jesus is recognized through word, body and blood, the community becomes alive, as Jesus is alive.
Jesus’ words of peace, reconciliation and mission re-found and re-energize the community to rediscover its roots.
There is the Thomas story. Doubt about the risen Jesus is always part and parcel of community life. That is okay.
Appreciating and probing the doubt leads to the great creed of the believing community: “My Lord and my God!”
Every Sunday, “the first day of the week,” the risen Jesus blesses the community as Jesus blessed Thomas: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Jesus’ blessing keeps the community alive and thriving in peace, joy, and reconciliation, along with the mission to live the same with and for others.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)