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Sunday, April 23, 2006

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Second Sunday of Easter
Mercy Sunday

Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
Psalm 118
John 20:19-31

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beyond a shadow of a doubt

Jesus said "to Thomas: 'Take your finger and examine My hands. Put your hand into My side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!' Thomas said in response, 'My Lord and my God!' " —John 20:27-28

We hear a lot about "doubting Thomas," as if he was worse than the other apostles. However, the name "Thomas" means "twin," and the apostles were his spiritual twins. All the apostles were doubters. Thomas admitted it; the others didn't. If they believed in the risen Christ beyond a shadow of a doubt, they would not have been behind locked doors because of fear (Jn 20:26).

Most of us also doubt. We must admit it and be delivered from doubt because it ruins everything. For example, if you have the slightest doubt your spouse is faithful to you, that doubt can ruin your marriage. If doubt casts its shadow over your prayer, even Mass and Holy Communion will be something "to get over with." Doubt is a killer. We must deal with it before it ruins us.

As human beings, we will have doubts cross our minds until our dying day. However, we can refuse to hold on to them and to let them affect our actions and inaction. We must come out from under the shadow of these doubts, but this cannot be done by our own power — "not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit" (Zec 4:6, our translation).

Jesus is breathing on us: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). The Spirit confirms us beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Prayer:  Risen Jesus, replace doubt and division with faith and unity. Make us of one heart and one mind. May I not claim anything as my own (Acts 4:32).

Promise:  "Who, then, is conqueror of the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." —1 Jn 5:5

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who in His great mercy revealed His heart for all to see!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005

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