Second Sunday of Easter
Gospel: John 20. 19 – end
It was the evening of the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. John tells us that the disciples at this time are still in Jerusalem. They all live in the region of Galilee. They came with Jesus for the festival and unexpected things happened to Jesus and in those moments they were of no help to Jesus. Jesus their teacher and master with whom they spent months together was taken captive, interrogated, tortured and killed but they simply fled when Jesus was in such serious trouble.
One of them did a horrible thing and betrayed Jesus and one of them denied knowing Jesus at all. He denied thrice as Jesus predicted. All others fled the scene. Yet it is interesting that they have not left Jerusalem. Perhaps still in a state of shock, or perhaps with such a lot of grief about the way their master was tortured and killed.
John in the gospel reading tells us that the disciples are in Jerusalem, locked up inside a room and so afraid that the authorities and the mob that killed Jesus will come for them. They should have had mixed emotions, they have let down Jesus and would have therefore felt guilty, they were ordinary people and totally helpless and that thought would have made them feel very unfortunate being powerless, they would have been mortally afraid of the authorities and their mob following. If such a thing could happen to Jesus where would they stand?
The Risen Christ however comes to meet his disciples, to revive them and restore them to their calling. The Risen Christ now does not go to see the chief priest to challenge him –what you have done to me and see now I am alive. The ones who crucified Jesus are not in the picture anymore.
Jesus is on the lookout for his friends, his disciples, the ones who are mortally afraid now. Jesus comes to show the scars. Scars are marks of ones suffering. Scars remind people of pain, scars of violence evoke anger. There are emotional scars that people carry in their memory. The scars would not go away.
What to do with the scars then – Jesus celebrates victory and moves forward. He is not stuck to his scars – he looks forward. Things that he started now should carry on. Jesus recommissions the disciples and authorises them to live and act in his name.
Jesus comes back to meet the disciple Thomas who was not there when Jesus first appeared. He wanted to touch the scars of Jesus and Jesus was willing to reappear to show Thomas his scars – only that he should believe.
The acclamation of Thomas sets the tone for the future. He said, My Lord, my God. He appeared to doubt Jesus but he was the one to proclaim, Jesus as my Lord and my God.
Scars can be a starting point in life. The scars of Jesus brought redemption to the world and we are assured God heals, restores and revives us back to life.