St. Thomas, Apostle Friday – 3rd
July 2020 — Gospel: Jn 20,24-29
Take Jesus seriously
Thomas, along with the others, had heard Jesus speak of a resurrection. However, he needed to know whether Jesus was serious when he spoke about his resurrection. So he expressed his doubts. Many times when people say things to us that are hard to believe, we may reply “are you serious?” Likewise, Jesus was serious in everything he said. He preached and taught with authority about the Kingdom. He was serious in his prediction of rising from the dead. Therefore, Jesus speaking about the resurrection was not just a fairy tale. This was God’s way of speaking the truth through Jesus, his son. Whenever God speaks, things happen. He is serious in whatever he says, like the creation of nature. Certainly, Thomas did not take his companions seriously when they said that they had seen Jesus. This also goes to say that he did not take Jesus’ word seriously at all. Finally, in the personal encounter, he did believe in Jesus as soon as he saw him. Just a look at Jesus was sufficient for Thomas to believe that the resurrection was the real thing. He also accepted to take to heart that whatever Jesus said must be taken seriously. He was mesmerized to surrender his faith by saying, “My Lord and My God”, which led Jesus to promise the final beatitude seriously.
13th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 2nd
July 2020 — Gospel: Mt 9,1-8
Jesus manifests God’s heart
Healing of the paralytic is another example to exhibit Jesus’ unique authority, not only to forgive sins but to manifest God’s depth of love. Jesus was thrilled to see the faith of some people who had brought the paralytic man for healing. Impressed by their faith, He commands healing for the paralytic. Next, He also saw the greater need of the paralytic man, for He knew the man’s sinful heart. Jesus could read his past life that was separated from God because of his sin (Is 59,2). Therefore He offered him the greatest gift of forgiveness so that he could become part of God’s kingdom. In a way, He wishes to bring him back into a relationship with his heavenly Father. But the scribes could not believe that Jesus talked about forgiving sins outside the temple, without an animal sacrifice, or taking the power of forgiveness for himself which only God can do to liberate. Going further in depth, Jesus interpreted their evil thoughts, but He never condemned them. It is a clear proof that Jesus was no ordinary man. As Son of Man, He was able to admire people’s external signs of faith, able to understand and free up the paralytic’s sinful heart and also able to know the babbling mind of the scribes. In this way, Jesus was gently and firmly claiming for himself an authority that belongs only to God. At the same time, He manifested God’s loving heart towards everyone without condemning. The crowds that witnessed the way Jesus responded to this healing, right from the beginning till the end, was led to walk away in amazement, praising God for the truth of His Kingdom.