Jesus returns to the Upper Room and rebukes the doubting St. Thomas. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Diligence so he can confront his sins daily and frequently receive Christ’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit so he can strive for and be helped to grow in the knowledge of the Catholic faith.
2nd Week of Easter – Sunday Cycle ABC – Jn 20:19-31
After Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday and appeared to multiple eyewitnesses, later Easter evening, the Apostles, and perhaps other disciples, were hiding from the Jewish leadership behind the locked door in the Upper Room. Suddenly, despite the locked door, Jesus mysteriously enters the room. Jesus gives the disciples His peace, forgiving them for abandoning Him on the Cross. He shows His wounds, confirming His body, that was brutally beaten, scourged and crucified, has been resurrected and glorified with mysterious new powers. Again giving the Apostles His peace, Jesus commands them to go and spread the Gospel, just as He Himself was sent by God the Father. Anticipating the great rush of the wind of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which will draw thousands to Him (Acts 2:1-4), Jesus breathes on the Apostles, ordaining them as priests with the Holy Spirit and giving them the exclusive power to forgive or not to forgive sins.
The Apostle Thomas, for some unknown reason, is absent when Jesus appears on Easter Sunday evening, and refuses to believe Jesus has risen unless he personally sees and touches Christ’s wounds. Eight days later on the Second Sunday of Easter, Jesus returns, again mysteriously entering despite the locked door. After giving the disciples His peace, Jesus, with supernatural knowledge of the doubt of Thomas, offers Thomas the chance to touch His wounds, exactly what the skeptical Thomas had declared as the cost for his belief. Thomas, immediately believes and exalts Jesus, crying, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus rebukes Thomas for his disbelief, promising, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
St. John, a witness to many but not all of Jesus’ acts and aware of oral Tradition and the other writings of the New Testament, humbly confirms his Gospel provides a secure basis for men to believe and be saved, even though it is unable to express the fullness of the mystery of Christ.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the Risen Christ: Jesus has a miraculous Glorified Body with the Divine Power to pass through solid walls and perfectly function despite the serious wounds which remain; Son of God, Jesus has the Divine Power to offer His supernatural Peace which can immediately change the thoughts and emotions of men; Jesus mysteriously knows of the unbelief of the skeptical Thomas, and offers dramatic proof of His Glorified Body; Divine Priest, Jesus, with His breath (Spirit), institutes the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Sacrament of Penance.
Confront your sins daily and go to Confession (at least) monthly
Realize: After ordaining the Apostles into the priesthood, Jesus exclusively gives His new priests the power to forgive or retain the sins of men, establishing the Sacrament of Penance.
Believe: Reflect upon Mortal and Venial Sin (CCC 1849-1876) and the Sacrament of Penance (CCC 553, 730, 976, 1441, 1461).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Priest, help me build the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I build a disciplined habit of confronting my sins daily and confessing my sins frequently (at least monthly) in the Sacrament of Penance.
Build Catholic knowledge with the help of the Spirit
Realize: The Apostolic Holy Catholic Church has perfectly preserved and transmitted Jesus’ teachings through Tradition and Scripture.
Believe: Be confident in the Transmission of Divine Revelation found in its fullness only in Jesus’ Holy Catholic Church (CCC 74-100).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so I grow in the knowledge of the Holy Catholic Church and regularly receive knowledge directly from You to help me be a heroic Catholic man.