Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy) | April 2/3, 2016
Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
PROTIP: You can take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.
So I would like to go on record by stating that I think St. Thomas gets a bad rap.
I mean it just doesn’t seem fair.
Most of the disciples seem to have doubted in one form or another.
And yet, it is Thomas’ disbelief that has been recorded and handed down through the ages.
It is Thomas and Thomas alone who is seemingly judged by history for his doubt.
And yet, I definitely empathize with Thomas. For if someone had taken a snapshot of my life in different points, I could have easily been given the same label of “Doubting Brian”
If they had captured me in high school as I waded through my agnostic stage, when I questioned whether or not God was real. When I questioned why I even bothered with Church or religion.
Or if they had spied in on difficult nights in ministry when I questioned whether or not God had a plan for me.
Or if they had sneaked in and watched as I shook my fist to heaven in anger and grief as I grappled with the reality of a child’s death or the scope of a natural disaster that had seized my attention.
At any of those moments, it would have been easy to label me and my journey. To judge me and my questions and doubts.
Just as history has judged Thomas.
And yet, the fascinating thing about this passage is that Jesus does not judge Thomas.
On the contrary, he meets Thomas where he is and leads him through his doubts into a faith that is unrivaled in the Gospel accounts.
For it is Thomas and Thomas alone who will ultimately utter the profession of faith that continues to resound on the lips of believers to this very day.
My Lord and my God.
See, I am convinced that he could not have arrived at this moment if it was not for the moments of doubt that preceded them.
Just as I am convinced that I could not have gotten to this point in my own spiritual journey if I had not faced my own questions and my own doubts along the way.
My friends, here we are at the beginning of the Easter season.
The beginning of another chapter in our own spiritual lives.
And yet, it can be easy to judge ourselves and one another as we so often judge poor Thomas.
We can judge each other and ourselves for our questions and our doubts.
For those moments when we wonder if there is anyone listening.
For those moments in which we struggle with how a loving God could permit so much evil and suffering to afflict us.
For those moments when we genuinely do not know if God is with us on our journey or where the next step of our journey may be.
For those moments in which we wrestle with the possibility that we could be wrong. That this entire faith business could simply be a waste of time.
And yet, our God does not judge us.
On the contrary, Christ continues to meet us where we are.
Offering the assurance of peace.
Offering the promise of the Spirit.
The Spirit that allows us to name, reverence and face our questions and our doubts.
The Spirit that reminds us of the command that is spoken more often than any other in Scripture.
Be Not Afraid.
of the questions
of the doubts
of the struggle
of the journey.
For I am with you always, even until the end of time.
Blessed are you my friends who believe.
For His love for us all is everlasting.
May God be Praised.