THE GOSPEL reading of the 2nd Sunday of Easter, which is also called the Divine Mercy Sunday (cfr. Jn 20,19-31), can very well tell us about what Easter life is all about, what life after Christ’s resurrection is all about insofar as we are concerned.
The gospel starts by telling us about Christ’s appearance to his stunned disciples, showing them his hands and his side to convince them that he really was Christ. Then he told them that they had the same mission that Christ had. “As the Father has sent me, I also send you,” he said. Then he breathed on them the Holy Spirit such that whose sins they forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins they retain, they are retained.
Then by some twist of fate, Thomas, one of the disciples, was not around at that time. And when told about Christ’s appearance to them, he did not believe. “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe,” he said.
Thus, 8 days later, Christ again appeared to them, this time with Thomas around. He called Thomas, showed him his hands and side, and that was only then that Thomas believed, saying, “My Lord and my God!” From a doubting Thomas, he became an intensely believing Thomas.
All these details of the gospel tell us that living the Easter life means that we should realize ever deeply and abidingly that we have the same mission as Christ, pursuing it in different ways and in accord to one’s status in the world and in the Church. We have to continue the work of redemption whether we are clerics, religious or laypeople.
In this regard, it is important that our faith is always strong and deep, and that we show that faith always in deeds, since that would convert that faith into real charity, which is what we ultimately should achieve. In other words, we need to be strong in faith and active in good works, doing all sorts of apostolate wherever we are.
Easter life, in effect, is life in the Holy Spirit. We have to always strengthen this awareness about our life that would make us always feel that we are never alone, since God in the Holy Spirit is always with us.
We have to feel very much at home with this very wonderful reality and start to correspond to it as we ought. We have to go beyond our earthly dimensions and enter into the more fascinating world of the spiritual and the supernatural.
This does not mean that we escape from our earthly reality to be in the spiritual and supernatural reality. No. It means that while deeply immersed in our mundane conditions, we also have to learn to go beyond them to be with God. This is what the word ‘transcendence’ means.
To be sure, we are enabled to do that, because of our intelligence and will. These are powerful faculties that would enable us to know and to love, and eventually to enter in the lives of others and ultimately to be with God. But more than that, we are given God’s grace that would enable us to enter and to share God’s supernatural life and nature. This is what Easter life is all about! By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail April 10-16, 2023 issue)