Father Carey’s Pastor’s Corner

 

My Dear Friends,

This weekend, we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday). Every year on this Sunday the Gospel is always the same. It is the Gospel of St. John in which we see the figure of Thomas, who has come to be known affectionately throughout history as “Doubting Thomas.”

I wonder, would it be right to suggest that after Judas who betrayed Jesus, Thomas has been per-ceived by many as the least liked apostle and follower of Jesus. After all, he had been with Jesus for three years during his public ministry. He heard Jesus speak and teach. He had seen and experienced some of Jesus’ most power miracles. He had prayed and eaten with Jesus on numerous occasions. And yet, Thomas still doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. In some ways we do feel sorry for him. Because he is forever known as the one who would not or could not believe. He wanted and needed concrete evidence that Jesus had indeed risen and was alive.

After his resurrection, Jesus continues to appear to his friends and followers. Through appearing to these men and women, he encourages and strengthens them; he calms their fears. When he appears to them, he says, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid”. Thomas is not with them when Jesus appears. The others tell him that Jesus had appeared to them and spoke to them. But he does not believe and he is not convinced and so in that very moment “Doubting Thomas” is born. I think we have to be careful about over criticizing Thomas for his apparent lack of faith. Perhaps we should admire and applaud him for his honesty and conviction. He is honest with himself and others. He desperately wants to meet and experience the Risen Jesus for himself.

He is not the only one who doubted that Jesus had risen. When Mary Magdalene told the others that she had met the Risen Lord, none of them believed her. In fact most, if not all of the followers of Jesus, doubted.

When Jesus does appear again, he asks Thomas to touch and put his finger into his wounds. Then he can have the proof he needs to believe. But the gospel doesn’t say that Thomas did this. Instead it tells us that he cried out loudly, “My Lord and my God.” This is the prayer of someone who believes, not someone who doubts.

None of us go through life without struggles and doubts. There are times when we are at our weakest, whether physically, emotionally our spiritually. Difficult as it can be, we have to believe and trust that Jesus is with us just as He was with Thomas. Jesus is always with us, especially when we feel we are most alone and doubting. When we are struggling to believe, it can help to realize that we are not in control and neither are we on our own. It can be a time of growth for us as we reach out and ask God to help us with our doubts and whatever we are struggling with.

When we have these doubts, may we have the faith and courage of Thomas. Like him, may we say with courage and conviction, “My Lord and my God”!

Now that we have recently celebrated the joy of Easter Sunday and conclude its Octave this weekend, we now move into this joyful season of 50 days making our way towards the great celebration of Pentecost Sunday. As customary here at Our Lady of the Assumption we will celebrate First Holy Communion during the Easter season on the weekend of April 24th with many of our young parishioners. They have already made their First Penance and now we look forward to their First Holy Communion. I ask you to please pray for all of those who will soon be receiving Jesus for the first time that they will always have a profound love and devotion towards Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament who gives us Himself as food for the journey of life.

I want to thank LOLA (Our Ladies of Our Lady of the Assumption) for all of their hard work in sponsoring another Soup sale along with their Annual Bake sale this past weekend of Palm Sunday. It was a great success and we are now looking forward to their next event which will be a Night at the Races & Derby Cocktail Party held at the Italian American Club on May 7th at 7 PM. We invite you to attend; however, you do not need to be present to win! If you would like to participate, forms are available in the vestibule of the church. If you have any questions about this years’ Night at the Races and how you can participate you may call Mary Murphy at (484) 417-6929 or e-mail at: Toad664@aol.com.

I take this opportunity once more to sincerely thank all of you for your prayerful, loving and financial support. It is truly and greatly appreciated! May God continue to bless you and your families during this joyful Easter Season!

Love and prayers,

Father Carey