3rd Sunday of Easter / 15th April 2018
The place of genuine doubt in the life of faith is a challenge for us all. The account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that unfolds in the New Testament is an incredible story. The early conclusions of the first Christians were somewhat tentative and wobbly at first. There was lots of questioning, doubting, astonishment even fear. These are genuine and understandable reactions and lend a lot of credibility to these accounts being true records of what happened, rather than fables or made up stories. Jesus reassured his disciples in several ways. He allowed them to touch him, he showed his wounds, he ate some ‘broiled fish and honeycomb’, he walked alongside two travellers and broke bread with them, he prepared a meal of fish and bread on a beach, he commissioned them for the ongoing mission of teaching his message and forming community, he taught them from the scriptures (Old Testament); he gifted the Holy Spirit to empower, and enliven their mission. All these forms of reassurance are still available to communities of faith today as we live in continuity with the faith communities of the past. That commitment to meet regularly is to me the strongest call. Thomas missed Jesus on one occasion because he was not at the regular gathering. The answer to our doubts could be in the sharing of a piece of broiled fished with the gathered community.