Saint Thomas Sunday

He had now seen and he believed. This is the faith of the Church of God, the lordship of Christ in the life of each of us. A lordship that means that we have been bought at a high price, that He has believed in us before we believed in Him, that He had loved us before we ever loved Him and that He conquered our heart, our mind, our will and the totality of our lives.
| 07 May 2005

In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

My Lord and my God! After Nathaniel, after Peter expressing the
faith, the knowledge, the experience of the Church, Thomas repeats
these words, My Lord and my God. He had now seen and he believed.
This is the faith of the Church of God, the lordship of Christ in the
life of each of us. A lordship that means that we have been bought at
a high price, that He has believed in us before we believed in Him,
that He had loved us before we ever loved Him and that He conquered
our heart, our mind, our will and the totality of our lives.

The lordship of Christ is made manifest in our personal lives by our
recognition and certainty and knowledge that truly all power is given
Him on earth and in Heavens, that all things are in His hands, that He
is the Lord of History, that He is the Lord of things visible and
invisible; that all things belong to Him and He is the Lord of all
things. And also the confession of the Church that knows Christ
through the Holy Spirit as God, true God, the Son of the Father, the
God of Heaven whom we adore on earth in His Incarnation. He appears to
His disciples on the evening of the Resurrection when dismayed,
terrified, desperate they were hiding for fear; He appears to them,
and His first words were Peace be with you! Because they had lost
their peace: Christ had died, the One in Whom they had believed had
seemingly been defeated and hopelessly overcome. The Father had not
sent any miraculous help and now, Him Who appeared to them as their
Lord and their God, indeed was dead and defeated as a man. Life, hope
had gone out of their hearts and out of the world because if He could
be defeated, there was no hope for holiness, for truth, for love.
There was no place for God on earth, He had been ruled out by evil, by
hatred And now He was there, alive, in their midst, alive in the living body
of the Resurrection, in that body which they had known, which they had
lay in the tomb, and which, inseparable from the Godhead, had remained
incorruptible, not overcome. He stood there, alive, and peace could
come back to them, not the peace which the world gives, a sense of
appeasement, but an alert, powerful, fragrant peace, the peace of
strength that cannot be overcome, of victory already won. That peace
which the world cannot give He now gave them, not simply in this words
of blessing, but in His presence and victory, in the vision of the
Kingdom of God already come with power, anticipating now what will
come later for all. And to these men who had now received a peace that
could not been taken away from them, because they had come back to
life, not to the ephemeral life of time but to the life of eternity,
shared with the Lord in Whom and with Whom they had died out in
despair, to these men He spoke a second word: As My Father sent Me,
ever do I send you. And He breathed on them: and gave them the Holy
Spirit, this Holy Spirit Whom they could hold in their oneness because
they were one with Him and in Him, Who would lead them into all truth,
Who would work the miracles of the Church and the acts of God, Who
would teach them to say Father to Him Who hitherto had been the
great God of Heaven. And they had to go now with this peace that could
not be taken away and in the power of the Spirit that indwelled their
unity, their oneness they had to go into the world.

The Church was not founded by Christ simply to be the place where God
and man are at one, but the place where the love and the compassion of
God is at work with such power that men, frail as we are, find the
inspiration of the Holy Ghost in the love divine, courage and
readiness to go out of their security, to go out of the Joy of the
Kingdom into an outer world, inimical, cold, abandoned, in order to
bring into it first of all faith, the news that God believes in each
of us, believes in those who do not believe in themselves, believes in
us even when we do not believe in ourselves so much that He is
prepared to become one of us and die for us, knowing that it is not in
vain, because man, not mankind, but each man, each woman, each person
is worthy of being entrusted with the life and the death of God. We
must bring that into the world: this divine witness that God believes
in us and in all of us, in the believers as He does in the
unbelievers, that He believes in man and is ready to pay the cost of
this belief with His blood, the witness but not only the words, but
the deeds, that will make people believe in the love of God abode in
our hearts, abode in our lives, not within our Christian community
alone, but wide enough, powerful enough to engulf all men and drown
all hatred, accept and die out of it, but never be defeated not
anymore than Christ was defeated. And we are to go into the world, to
bring this witness, this message, these good tidings, this Gospel in
order that people may again believe in themselves and look up to God
and believe in His belief, in love and discover the God of Love, that
they may begin to live. But as Christ has given us this faith and this
love, this hope and this joy, this peace and this strength, not only
by His incarnation and His life, but by His suffering and death, we
must be prepared to lay down our live that others may live, and that
we must too, day after day, not wait for the day when our life will be
taken away from us by violence, but lay down our life hour after hour,
for every person whom we meet, for every concern.

And we lay down our lives when discarding ourselves, ignoring
ourselves, turning away from ourselves, we live for others, for God,
for the Kingdom. To love and to die are the same things because to
love means to turn away from oneself in order to live for God and in
Him so that He may live in us as He died for us. And so shall we also
live for people and in them, through them through this Message of life
that God may live in them and they in Him. If we receive the message
of the Resurrection crowning the mystery of the Cross, not blotting it
out but crowning it with fulfillment, then we will learn all the depth
and all the tragedy, but also the power and the glory and joy which
make one mystery of the Cross and of the empty tomb and the Risen
Christ. Let us then now begin to die to ourselves, renounce ourselves,
take up this Cross which is a daily dying for God’s sake and for the
people’s sake and follow Christ because He is the only Path, He is the
only Truth, He is the only Life that can be possessed on earth and in
Heaven. Amen.


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