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This Easter Finds Us More Like the Apostles


By a priest of San Jose
April 18, 2020

This Easter finds us more like the Apostles than we might imagine.
They were afraid; so are we.
Their lives were turned upside down, as are ours.
They were locked in the Upper Room; you and I are sheltered in place.
The Apostles were unsure of their future. . .need I continue?

And we are like them in so many other ways.

Just like us, the Apostles came in all shapes and sizes.
There was no standard model.

Matthew, the tax collector.
Judas, the Betrayer.
John, the Disciple Jesus loved.
Peter, the Denier. Peter the Rock.
Peter the Fisherman
with Andrew, James and John
Simon, the Zealot
and Thomas, the Doubter.

But there were commonalities.
They slept through Jesus’ agony in the garden.
None of them knew what was going to happen, what it meant,
or what Jesus did with and for them at the supper
the night before He died.
They did not understand.

They were all afraid. They ran.
Except for a few of the women, including his mother, and John. 
And Jesus loved them still. . . all of them.
They were all locked together that night,
the third day after Jesus was crucified.
All but Thomas.

The disciples. . .friends of Jesus. . .were not perfect,
all of them were doing what they could.
As we do today, each trying the best he or she can.
And the Lord came through the closed doors. . .
the doors of that room. . .the doors of their hearts. . .

Why was Thomas not there that Easter night??  We don’t know.
Why wasn’t he sheltered in that place with his brothers?
Why didn’t he believe when the others reported
that they had seen the Lord. Would you?? 
After all, the ten who claimed to have seen Jesus
were still in hiding, still locked up, still afraid, still uncertain.
What kind of witnesses were they to the Risen One?
What kind of witnesses are we?

And how did Jesus respond to Thomas and the others?
Peace, mercy, forgiveness and love.
Forgiven and Forgiving. . .not holding grudges,
not demanding some impossible payment.

Peace, mercy, forgiveness and love. . .
We call this ‘grace,’ for it is God’s life flowing in us.
It is the life of our Baptism.
It is the life of the Eucharist, which we celebrate and receive,
which we so desire, during this long Eucharist fast during COVID-19.

If we believe that we, too, are forgiven,
that the Lord can penetrate the barriers of closed hearts and minds,
that, unworthy as we are, God heals our souls,
then how can we not offer the very same to one another?
Peace, mercy, forgiveness and love.

And if the Lord could enter through locked doors and windows
even before there was an Internet,
so He can enter into all of the places we find ourselves
this Easter Season 2020.

When Jesus appeared, He showed them his wounds.
And in them they saw wounds that were their own, their fears and doubts,
their sorrows, their sins.

 And Jesus healed them that evening.

Just as Jesus will heal us and our world today.