The Second Sunday of Easter

Submitted by Daniel Thies on Sun, 04/19/2020 - 06:28
Easter Altar

The Readings for the Second Sunday of Easter are Acts 5:29-42, 1 Peter 1:3-9, and John 20:19-31.

We typically look forward to celebration with anticipation of a climax and rejoicing with the knowledge to the resurrection and the fellowship and the freedom that we have as Christians. This Easter season is a little different perhaps as we not able to follow our usual customs. All of the celebration seems muted by a world constrained by fear. Has Easter passed us by or have we missed it somehow because we are not present in this circumstance? Although we often think of Easter as a Sunday festival, the feast of Easter is really seven or maybe eight weeks in the Church calendar leading to a climax at Pentecost.

The reality of the resurrection of Christ takes a while to process. The Disciples of Jesus were not immediately openly celebrating his resurrection. The word used in the Gospels repeatedly to describe their condition is fear. The women at the tomb were there in fear. The men were not fear. In the evening they were again behind closed doors in fear. They were not celebrating the empty tomb, but were disturbed by all the things that had taken place. The empty tomb emphasized their isolation from Jesus, and their isolation from others. Thomas is isolated even more in a sense by that fact that the other disciples reporting to him that the have seen Jesus while he was absent.

Like Thomas we may think we are missing something by not being able to gather with others to worship and receive the Sacrament with one another. Like Thomas we do not want to be left out and are tempted to question whether our faith is there in the absence from our community of faith. We like Thomas would like to touch Jesus when we choose or as we may have in the past. Christ speaks to us as to the Disciples saying "peace be with you".

We may feel my we need to touch and to see, but Jesus blessed are those that have not seen, but believed. In the period from the Resurrection to Pentecost, Christ's presence is revealed to the Disciples even where he is not seen physically.  In his resurrection Christ has done everything we need to deliver from sin and death. Even if we do not feel faith the way we may like, Christ remains with his Church and provides for it so that we do not need to fear.