Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.
John 20:19-31 for the Second Sunday of Easter.
Thomas was the last apostle to see the risen Christ.
Thomas was one week behind the others; but Thomas appears to be the FIRST person in the Gospels to dare say of Christ: My Lord and my GOD!
Ironically, the proof for Thomas that Christ is God is the fact of his wounds, the marks of suffering and death.
That is an irony but also a scandal.
True God was born a true man— that is a scandal.
God died a human death as a criminal— that is a worse scandal.
Christ is true God, died on the cross, and rose bodily from the dead— that is a further scandal.
Here at the altar of the Eucharist is another scandal identical with all those I just mentioned.
The will of the Father and the Son, the words of the Son and the power of the Spirit change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ:
the Body and Blood born at Bethlehem;
the Body and Blood offered on the Cross for us as the new and everlasting covenant so that sins may be forgiven;
the Body and Blood risen from the dead and shown to the apostles;
the risen Body and Blood which Thomas probed with his own hands.
Through the apostles, Christ has given these scandals to his Church.
We continue to proclaim them through the Gospel and the Eucharist.
We proclaim Christ crucified and risen.
We commit ourselves and we summon the world to confess: You are the Lord; you are God.
To confess that faith and to receive baptism is to have God take us into the reality of the Risen Christ.
It is to live and move and be IN CHRIST.
Through baptism God takes us up into Christ.
Through Baptism our real BODIES receive the promise and the beginning of resurrection.
Through Baptism God the SPIRIT is BREATHING within us.
Through Baptism we receive the FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
In Baptism and all the sacraments, the world has already come to an end, and the new heavens and the new earth have already begun to be.
Since we are baptized, you and I no longer descend from Adam.
Baptized into Christ, you and I now descend from Christ the Son of God.
In Baptism, Christ gives the promise, the beginning and the presence of his own resurrection to our bodies.
In Baptism, he breathes the Divine Spirit for us, upon us and into us.
In Baptism, he forgives our sins.
In Baptism, the end of the world has already begun.
In Baptism, the new heavens and the new earth have already begun to arrive.
The Eucharist also brings on the end of the world, and ushers in God’s kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.
In the Eucharist the world of bread and wine come to an end.
In the Eucharist there is only the reality of Christ with his Real Body and his Real Blood.
The Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ’s death for SIN, the sacrament of his resurrection and of his Real BODY and Real BLOOD.
In this Sacrament, the Risen Lord still appears in the midst of us, his disciples, to give himself to us in his eternally new BODY and BLOOD.
When we receive the Sacrament of the Lord in his Eucharist, the power of his SPIRIT that is BREATHING within us is renewed and strengthened, if only we accept its invitation and INSPIRATION.
Our faith in the Eucharist gives us access to the forgiveness of sins paid for through the sacrifice of Christ’s BODY and BLOOD.
Together with the apostles it is OUR duty to tell the world the same proclamation as the first letter of St. John [1 Jn. 1:1-3].
That which was from the beginning,
which WE have heard,
which WE have looked upon and TOUCHED with OUR hands,
concerning the word of life—
the life was made manifest,
and WE saw it,
and testify to it,
and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to US—
that which WE have seen and heard WE proclaim also to you,
so that you may have communion with US;
and OUR communion is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Turn. Love. Repeat.