Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homily Notes for St. Thomas Sunday -Easter 2 Cycle A

We look at our gospel reading as story which we often view as one of faith and doubt…yet if we look beyond the drama of the disciples we get a glimpse of the person at the center of the Easter event, Jesus Christ! Here are some thoughts about Jesus, about who he is, about his ministry which we find as we meditate on this lesson

1. Jesus , The Risen One-
Our text begins identifying the first day of the week as the day of the Resurrection, and this is central to the gospel story- Jesus crucified, now risen!  In our lesson from Acts , the Apostle Peter stands as a witness along with the twelve declaring to the multitude: "...This Jesus, God raised from the dead, and of that we are all witnesses..."  John in his vision in the Isle of Patmos adds to that witness speaking of Jesus as the “Firstborn from the Dead”! Here we should pause and acknowledge that the resurrection is not a simple resuscitation of a dead body,!
Luke 24:36-43 (ESV)

"...As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,[b] 43 and he took it and ate before them..."
This risen Christ is not bound by doors, he enters into a room closed, he bears the marks of his suffering, but feels no pain! The gospels describe the resurrected Jesus in very physical terms, he is touched by his disciples, he eats fish and honey yet he is not limited by the laws which define our universe…! He has taken our humanity and raised to a new dimension.The risen one is said to hold the keys of death and the grave, and to have promised that one day death will forever be swallowed up by his victory!                                                                            

2. Jesus Saviour and Healer 
A room full of anguish becomes one full of hope! Guilt , fear, despair dissipate as he stands before them and utter the words Peace be with you!  Peter in his Epistle perhaps refers to this moment when he speaks of a living hope , brought about by the resurrection of Christ! His death reveals the depth of God’s love….while we were still sinners Christ died for us, his resurrection attests to his power to save and heal! 
Peace with God, Peace within, Peace with others and Peace to the whole of Creation, we have been saved, we have been reconciled! There is a remedy to what ails us!!! It not RELIGION NOR science, EDUCATION or politics! In the end we need a healer, we need a Savior! It is Christ to speaks the word of love and power that saves even as we find in the Gospel accounts!
* Jesus speaking to the raging waters of the lake, Peace be still
* Jesus speaking to the woman plagued by the issue of blood, go in peace
*Jesus speaking to his distressed disciples Peace be unto you-
* Jesus speaking to you and to me, bringing hope , salvation healing!!  

3. Jesus The One Who Baptizes with the Holy Spirit!
Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist said of Jesus...
"...I baptize you with water so that you will give up your sins. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire!..."
In this interesting scene, Jesus blows on his disciples saying as the father has sent me so I send you.... receive the Holy Spirit....whosoever sins you forgive are forgiven them!It is Christ who makes it possible for the Spirit of God to dwell in us, it is He who calls us, changes us, equips us and sends us to do what he has purposed in our lives!My boss is a Jewish Carpenter- though we may work with others and be accountable to others, it is Jesus who is the boss- He is the one who calls and commissions the disciples and equips them! He is the one we are ultimately accountable to!  THERE CAN BE NO TRUE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY APART FOR THE CALLING OF GOD AND THE ANOINTING, THE PRESENCE, THE ACTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN A PERSON'S LIFE! 

4. Jesus the author and finisher of our faith
The Greek word translated “perfecter” in Hebrews 12:2 appears only this one time in the New Testament. It means literally “completer” or “finisher” and speaks of bringing something to its conclusion . 
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion ..Philipians 1:6
There is a lot hat could be said about that but here are some examples from the gospels and our lesson of this Sunday in particular- We are all different when it comes to waht awakens and strengthens our faith.
John the disciple ran to the empty tomb saw the burial lines set aside and believed! The gathered disciples see Jesus appear and see the wounds in his hand and side, they believe! Thomas needs more than that! He is not content to hear or see , he has to touch
Jesus gives to each what they need, he is in the business of faith! Our faith is something we can entrust to him! He was present at its beginning, at its high and low points and we can trust He will give us what we need as the work of faith is made complete in each of us!

5. Jesus the Lord!
My Lord and my God, the beautiful words of a doubter  about Jesus- Great encourament to me and you in our moments of doubt and disbelief. 



Monday, May 12, 2014

In Memoriam

 Felipe Aragon, 1958-2014
Cigarrita I will miss you very much! May you find peace in the presence of God!