Acts 5:12-16 Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19 John 20:19-31
Often, as part of a routine greeting we make, the questions is asked, “How are you?” It really is a rhetorical question. It is not looking for a genuine answer. So the response given is something like “OK” or “Doing fine” or simply “Alive.” This is so no matter what might the case of how one is really feeling. But, being “Alive,” especially for a person of faith, means a great deal more. The Easter Season celebrates the central mystery of our faith, that Jesus Christ has overcome death. He has risen fro the dead. He is “Alive.”
What about us, however? We declare ourselves to be believers in the Resurrection. When, in a general sense, we speak about a person who is “alive” we often mean that the person is “lively.” That person exudes, effervesces, even “bubbles” in some way. That person is said to have “life.” Indeed,, this is the sort of life which we are to have because of our faith. This may not be so much what we show or how we act externally. But it is “life” shown in the confidence, the courage that marks the way we live.
Much like the early Church about which we heard today. They would meet together despite opposition. They would tolerate and rise above persecution because of their faith. At the same time, the movement was growing. There was something to their belief. That something was the Spirit of the Lord that allowed them to add to their numbers. The Spirit of the Lord moved the people in their conviction that the Lord had truly overcome death. Because of this, there was a new vision, a new perspective on life, a new perspective on the world as a whole.
John, too, was alive in his faith, even though he was in exile because of persecution. In the midst of persecution he had a vision of the Lord.. This led him to write of the triumph of the Church over persecution. His vision is of the Risen Lord who says imply: There is nothing to fear. I am the beginning and the end of all things. I am the alpha and the omega. Nothing comes before me, nothing comes after me. Put faith in me and all will be well.
We also heard the familiar story about the Apostles after the Resurrection and, in particular, about Thomas. Thomas doubts the news that he hears. Then, a week later, he declares his belief. There is a little twist in what is added by the words of Jesus. Thomas believed because he saw. We are to believe even though we do not see. This is an affirmation by our Lord of the faith that is to be alive in us.
While this may be the way we should be, we could look at ourselves and often recognize that we are the Thomas of Easter Sunday rather than the Thomas of a week later. We see in ourselves what reflects doubt and skepticism rather that the enthusiasm of “My Lord and my God.”
So, then, we are to examine ourselves. We proclaim the same faith as Thomas. We proclaim the same faith as John and the other followers of Jesus. We proclaim the same faith as the early Church. We proclaim that Jesus Christ is risen, that he is alive. Thus, are we “alive” in way that truly proclaim our faith in a good and gracious God.