Jesus was once dead, but now he lives forever and ever (Rev 1, 18). For God raised him from the dead. May our misgivings not lead us to deny him.
It is hard to get rid of misgivings. And misgivings can easily arise even in the hearts of the disciples.
But misgivings can give way to faith. If to deny Jesus could lead to salvation, then, why not misgivings?
Yes, the Holy and Righteous One’s own denied him out of ignorance and handed him to death. But God raised him from the dead. He thus fulfilled what the prophets had foretold that his Christ would suffer.
This is to say that God is at work in shadows and lights. He uses what brings shame to bring to light and carry out his plans. The darkness is no match to the light (Jn 1, 5).
In the same way, he uses misgivings to make faith spring forth and blossom to the full. That was what took place in the case of Thomas. He did not believe what the others told him. To see Jesus in person, only that would be enough for him.
And so, his faith would only be based on his experience. He would believe not so much due to grace as due to the works of his senses of sight and touch.
And Jesus granted what he asked for; no questions asked. And the upshot of it was that Thomas’ misgivings faded and faith won out. And his was not a shallow faith like that of those who have not yet made their journey of faith (see also Believing because of our own experience). The faith of the doubter turned out deeper, awakened by the reproof: “Do not be unbelieving, but believe.” For he replied, “My Lord and my God!”; no one had made such an act of faith before.
Good can come out of misgivings.
In today’s gospel, Jesus stands in the midst of his disciples. Among them are the two who were on their way to Emmaus. They later recognized him at the breaking of the bread. But never mind what had happened to them. For, just like the others, they are frightened.
And all of them show misgivings, and so the Risen One sees fit to show them his hands and his feet. Not once, but twice. That is how he tries to calm them down, though for joy and amazement, they still cannot believe.
But he does not give up on them. He seeks, rather, to get closer to them as he asks them to share with him what they have to eat. In turn, he opens their minds to grasp the Scriptures about his passion, death and resurrection.
So then, he shows us what matters most so we get past our misgivings, believe, and know and recognize the Risen One. That is to say, we have to share joys, sorrows, lights, glories, the Word and the Sacrament.
Lord Jesus, make us pass, as St. Vincent, from misgivings to faith as we give ourselves to those in need (J. Delarue). Grant that we learn from them to keep your words and, hence, have a living faith (SV.EN XI:190).
18 April 2021
Third Sunday of Easter (B)
Acts 3, 13-15. 17-19; 1 Jn 2, 1-5a; Lk 24, 35-48