Acts 5:12-16; Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (R/. 1); Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; John 20:29; John 20:19-31
Easter has escaped the busyness that surrounds Christmas: shopping, parties, get-togethers. In addition, when one thinks of Easter music, hymns and oratories come to mind, since there are only a few Easter songs. There seems to be something so sacred about this feast that even the merchandisers have refrained from commercializing it for the most part. Nevertheless, we do not want to forget that Easter reminds us of the gifts the risen Lord Jesus brings. We hear about them in the Gospel today. To the frightened apostles, locked into the upper room, Jesus suddenly appears with gifts that release them from their fears. First, he gives the God’s peace (shalom), that is, all God’s blessings that can enrich human life. Then he breathes the Holy Spirit on them, empowering them to offer God’s forgiveness to all who seek it. Finally, he gives to Thomas, and to all followers, the gift of faith in him as Lord and God. To live at peace with God and others, to have the capacity to forgive and receive forgiveness, and to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, these are Easter’s gifts to us.
How will you make use of these gifts this Easter season?