Reflection: Second Sunday of Easter

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Acts 5:12-16; Ps.117; 2nd Reading – Ap.1:9-13, 17-19; Gospel – Jn.20:19-31]


John, the gospel writer, constantly talks about “signs” throughout Jesus’ life. For him, the word of God in the scriptures is made of signs of God and of His presence among His people: signs that show God’s love in the Old Testament and likewise, through Jesus, signs of God’s presence in the New Testament. In Jesus we can see the same signs of God’s love. John is very keen in telling us that these signs were, on one hand, performed by Jesus, and on the other, were seen by the disciples. It is possible that there were other signs that Jesus performed but they were not seen by the disciples. The author insists in saying that these signs which were written here were obviously seen. There were “many other signs” that took place, seen or unseen, but they were not written in his book. For the gospel writer, since God is a loving Father, He is always working for our good, irrespective of our “awareness” or even of our “acceptance” of what He does. He would still continue to show His presence with us and His love for us. His love is not conditioned by our response! If we notice or accept, and therefore believe, this is going to have an effect on us, not on his working for us!

While concluding his gospel narrative, John seems to be reminding us of the many things that took place in Jesus’ life. They all led to his Passion, Death and Resurrection. A strange but effective way of showing His love to humankind! He is trying to show us that the Father’s love never ends and has no limits. Instead of an end, Death becomes a passage, a continuation, of God’s constant love. In fact John is saying that what was written was done as evidence for us to believe in Jesus, the Son of God through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

We are told that after Jesus’ death the Apostles closed themselves off from the outside world in a room because they were afraid of the Jews. At the same time we are also told that even though the doors were closed, Jesus came in and stood among them. They doubted and needed signs to reassure themselves that it was truly Jesus who showed them the marks of His wounds. Once they have seen, they believed and were filled with joy. As if this was not enough, Jesus also gave them the Holy Spirit. Alas, Thomas, the twin, was not with the others and he too needed a sign that the person they saw was truly Jesus. Thomas doubted for it was not enough for the others to tell him that they saw Jesus. Thomas wanted to have the experience himself otherwise he adamantly refused to believe.

In our life we too have different types of experiences. Quite often we want to have that direct experience but other times hearing about someone else’s experience is enough for us to accept what that person says is true – it all depends on our relationship with that person. If the word of God or what others say about Him creates some kind of doubt in us, doesn’t this mean that we have an opportunity to work towards having a better relationship with Him?

Lord, like Thomas, sometimes we want to have direct experiences, as if your word is not enough.  Give us the strength to believe! Thank you Lord!”



Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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