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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES FOR APRIL 7 | We can bring our doubts to Jesus and be honest with Him

Divisions come when we make judgments about people and let those separate us from others

We are all invited to be in relationship with Jesus Christ and to be a part of the community of believers. The Scripture readings for the second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) remind us of what the early Church was like and how far we have to go to be able to get there ourselves. The readings also show the power of bringing our doubts to Jesus.

For a community of believers to be of one mind and heart, there must be a foundation of unconditional love. That must be our first attitude and our first step toward any other person. Divisions come when we have already decided what we believe about another person and let that separate us. We see it all around us, and it has detrimental effects on families, Church, communities, cities and nations. There are even some among us who try to teach something contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ — that some are welcome and some are not. They tell us that some differences are insurmountable. They tell us that some sins are beyond God’s mercy. They even tell us that some of us are better than others simply because of the religion we practice or the nation that we come from. There are even some who say that the world would be a better place if some individuals or groups of people were erased from the earth. Nothing could be further from the truth of what Jesus teaches. Why was the early community of Christians able to be of one mind and heart, while we have become divided? Rather than try to deal with the divisions that are bigger than we are and beyond our control, let us look within our own hearts and minds and find the ways that our attitudes cause us to be separated from others. Easter is meant to be a time when we celebrate resurrection. That resurrection is a revelation of what God wishes for each and every one of us. We are formed and molded to share a life of joy forever with God.

The Scriptures encourage all of us who have doubts about God, Jesus, the Church and about life in general to bring those doubts to Jesus and to be honest with Him. Thomas told Jesus exactly what He needed to be able to believe. I think most of us are afraid to share our doubts with Jesus, because when we share doubts in other places of life, many people try to shame us. Do not be ashamed of any doubts that you have, especially in the areas of faith. Don’t hide with those doubts. Don’t think that those doubts bring on God’s wrath. Try instead to be honest in prayer as we share with God the various places in our life where we have a lack of surety, and even a clear attitude of doubt. Where do we need to increase belief and renew our faith?

Many of us try to have our doubt relieved by asking for signs and wonders of miraculous things. While we await those miraculous things, we miss all the wonderful things that are happening around us. We take for granted the multiple gifts that are surrounding us each day of our lives. Our lack of awareness and our insufficient gratitude keep our minds and hearts hardened and doubting.

If we are looking for ways to become less doubtful and more grateful, start as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning. Before getting out of bed, be grateful for the ability to move arms and legs, fingers and toes and to open our eyes. Express gratitude to God for the ability to see, hear, feel, taste and touch. Thank God for shelter, and the food that awaits for breakfast. Thank God for drinking water that is available with very little effort. That awareness and gratitude will keep us busy all the moments of the day. When we notice those gifts and give gratitude to God, it is hard to doubt His presence.

Father Wester is pastor of All Saints Parish in St. Peters.

From the Archive Module

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