We are confronted in today’s Gospel with something we all have to struggle with, and that is a reluctance to believe. In the disciples’ case, it was a slowness to believe based on the fact that they didn’t really have the resources that we do – like the Gospels and two millennia of Church teaching. They also had yet to receive the Holy Spirit. So even though they did have Jesus’ words, they still didn’t understand them.
We come to Mass today having been there, done that. Like I said, we have more resources: the Gospels and the Church and the Holy Spirit, and so it often seems like we should know better. And I think we do believe, at least in our heads. But when it comes to believing with our heats, it’s another thing entirely. How easy is it to believe that God loves us and has a plan for us when we are confronted with a difficult situation? When a loved one is dying? When we’ve lost a job? When the economy has eaten up our retirement? When we’ve just learned that we are seriously ill?
But like the disciples, Jesus comes to us today and tells us that our faith must be the bedrock of our lives: helping us to be joyful in the good times and providing a source of strength in our bad times. And just when we are all thinking about ourselves – about what we need, about what we’re going through – just when the disciples are trying to figure out what to do next – Jesus makes it clear: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Get back on the horse, get back into life, live the faith and be a witness. That’s the life of the disciple, that’s the life of faith.
And we can do all that today and every day because of what we celebrate on this Easter Day: Christ is risen, and sin and death have been destroyed. God does have a plan for us, he does love us, and he has done all he needs to do to prove it.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!