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April 11, 2021: Second Sunday of Easter

John 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “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.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Reflection

The introduction of doubting Thomas used to be the main take away in this passage for me. Before this year’s review, I stopped at the Thomas part. After my “nod” to the doubter and a brief reflection on my own doubts, I found myself surprised to read about locked doors in this reading. Locked doors are mentioned two times. How had I missed that before? Those doors spoke to me. Doubt is one thing. Locking myself in fear behind tightly secured doors seems more serious. Doubt means curiosity to me. Doubt makes me wonder, wander and ponder. Locked doors call me to ask some questions of myself. What do I fear? What is so frightening? Am I alone in feeling this way? It feels that way most of the time. I want help and support in finding how to unlock the fearful places inside myself.

Action

Doors, windows and other portals are powerful images found in scripture, religious art and dreams. Select a doorway, window or perhaps a gated entry to a garden or other outdoor space. Create a story about it. Is the door open or closed? How recently has the window been cleaned? What does the garden gate protect?

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Alice Shelton

Providence Associate Alice Shelton lives in Indianapolis with her husband John. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and enjoys her work as director of business services at Marian University.

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