Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
I placed a signup sheet in the ushers’ room for AED/CPR training. CPR means “cardiopulmonary resuscitation,” i.e. breathing into one’s mouth to revive the person unable to breathe. Jesus appears to his disciples huddled behind locked doors and breathes on them the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit calms their fear, instills peace and joy, and commissions the disciples to forgive. Thomas (the Twin) is not present and refuses to believe their testimony. Jesus returns again on what will become known as “the Day of the Lord,” shows Thomas his wounds and invites him to not persist in his unbelief but believe. Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit to bless future generation who come to believe without “seeing” the Risen Lord.
Like Thomas we may want physical evidence or proof, captivated as we are with CSI – Crime Scene Investigations. Mary Magdalene and Thomas need to touch the crucified Jesus to make sure he is real. Jesus comes not as a ghost or apparition but in his glorified or resurrected body. They cannot cling to him. “Christian worship is not only a commemoration of past events nor even a specific, inner mystical experience; rather it is essentially an encounter with the Risen Lord who lives in the dimension of God beyond time and space, and yet becomes really present amidst the community, speaks to us in Sacred Scripture and breaks the bread of eternal life for us. It is through theses signs that we relive what the disciples experienced, that is, the event of seeing Jesus and at the same time not recognizing him; of touching his body, a real body and yet free from earthly bonds.” Pope Benedict XVI
Today, at the 10 AM Mass, Theodore Thomas is baptized. “Theodore” means “God given” or “God’s gift.” “Thomas” means “twin.” There is something in a name. Together with Thomas in the Gospel according to St. John, we make our confession of faith: “My Lord and my God.”