Father Rodney Torbic

April 2 / 15, 2018

Thomas Sunday

John 20:19-31

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Thomas Sunday is the first Sunday following Pascha. The celebration of the Lordís Resurrection continues in Godís Holy Church. The Gospel for Thomas Sunday confirms the Resurrection of Christ.

Thomasí doubt about Christís Resurrection is put to rest. The joy of the Resurrection is uninterrupted. Bright Week is fully devoted to the celebration of the Resurrection.

The Paschal celebration is firmly established in the liturgical life of the Church. Believers amazed and filled with the joy of the Resurrection remain inspired with the arrival of Thomas Sunday.

The Risen Christ came bearing a message of peace. Followers of the Risen Christ are expected to be people of peace. Too much conflict and aggression exist in the world.

Followers of the Risen Christ improve the world by being bearers of peace. Followers of the Risen Christ do well to advance the message of peace. The Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples.

Christ made His hands and His side available to the disciples for examination. The Risen Christ verified His presence with the disciples. The disciples were convinced. They were glad.

The Gospel of St. John serves as a witnessed account of the Resurrection. The Gospel of St. John read on Thomas Sunday is a written description of the coming together of the Risen Jesus and His disciples.

Believers are strengthened by the authoritative existence of the Gospel of St. John. St. Johnís Gospel nourishes the lives of believers on Thomas Sunday. The Resurrection of Christ changes the lives of believers in successive generations.

Individuals immersed in the Resurrected Christ are constantly ďnewĒ in Christ. Life increases in meaning and purpose when the believer is immersed in the Risen Christ. The believer witnesses with the joy of the Resurrection.

The Risen Christ sent His disciples forth into the world. Christís message of peace has contemporary relevance. Present followers of Christ contribute to the community by increasing their presence as bearers of peace.

Individuals firmly united with Christ reveal this unity by living in ways pleasing to Christ. Christ repeated His message of peace in the current Gospel. Increased peace would be a welcome change in the current world.

The Risen Christ addressed the disciples with the words: ďReceive the Holy Spirit.Ē According to the Holy Apostle Paul, peace is included as a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22).

World leaders make greater contributions when heeding message of the Resurrected Christ and the writings of the Holy Apostle Paul. World leaders serving as ambassadors of peace rather than creators of war improve relations.

Individual believers make a difference by practicing peace in everyday life. The benefits of peace far outweigh the short term gains of war and aggression. Defending the lives of loved ones is laudable.

The best personal defense and the best defense of loved ones is found in the Resurrected Christ. The Resurrected Christ guides and gives wisdom to followers immersing themselves in Him.

The soul is authentically nourished in the Resurrected Christ. Sinners forgiven by God feel the weight lifted from their lives. New found freedom exists when sins are forgiven.

Disciples of the Risen Christ empowered to forgive sins have complex responsibilities. Considerations affecting the souls of believers must be weighed with the greatest care.

Disciples of Christ are required to heed the teachings of Christ and to follow the example of Christ. Disciples of Christ are required to be attentive and full of love. Healing of the soul demands the presence of love.

The soul is not healed by coercion or by the impurely motivated. The Resurrected Christ focused on forgiveness confirming by His statement the importance of forgiveness.

The Risen Christís words are lasting in nature and carry power and authority. Thomasí belief in the Resurrection of Christ is of central interest in the present Gospel.

Believers immersed in the Risen Christ reveal the joy of the Resurrection in their countenance and in their speech. Believers immersed in the Resurrected Christ reveal their firmness of belief in the Resurrection by their actions.

April 2 / 15, 2018
Thomas Sunday.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

Back to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels - Home Page