Blog & Pastor Letters

Believe in the Power of God

04-19-2020Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Parents must contend with questions from their children. The questions they ask are as innocent as the children appear. They want to know where the sun comes from, who made the earth, or where do babies come from. Parents do not set out to blame their children for asking such questions. Rather, they try to satisfy their curiosity at their level. The parents' explanations help them understand their world. As they gain more knowledge of the world, they add up what parents have told them and compare it to what is real to them. If these do not match, they argue about what you told them. From the earliest stages of growth, it is good to teach our children truths. This enables them to learn what is right from what is wrong.

Jesus appeared to the apostles and Thomas was not in the house. When Jesus appeared in the absence of Thomas, he breathed on them the spirit of God that would enable them to function as commissioned apostles. When Thomas returned and the others told him, "We have seen the Lord." He replied, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hands into his side, I will not believe." The passage in John 20: 19-29, records for us this interesting encounter between Jesus and his apostles with a continuation of another encounter of Thomas with Jesus. When he appeared a week later, he went directly to Thomas and said to him, "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." At this point Thomas doubted no longer but believed because he saw the Lord himself and heard directly from him.

Peter used Jesus' resurrection as a reference point in preaching to his listeners. Acts 2: 42-47 tells us that the apostles devoted themselves to teaching, to communal life and the breaking of bread. All over Jerusalem and the surrounding villages, the good news began to spread of what the resurrection could do for their individual lives. What an incredible opportunity for new believers to experience transformation through the works of the apostles even when Jesus was not physically in the scene! This began to form the basis of faith for the Church as many called on Jesus to assist them with their individual problems and troubles.

Every Christian from that moment on began to establish a personal relationship with Jesus because of his resurrection, not out of fear but a belief that he is alive and can do exceedingly more than we ask of him. The gospel says Jesus appeared to the apostles and said to them, "Peace be with you." Thomas heard these words from Jesus, and he believed. He doubted when Jesus was not there, but soon after he heard him, he believed. This is a deep encounter of Thomas with Jesus through which we are given an understanding of our connection to the divine. Although Jesus is not physically present, he lives forever in our hearts and he is able to listen to us in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.

St. Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) wrote in her diary her encounters with Jesus calling for divine mercy on behalf of sinners. The Divine Mercy society is the fruit of Faustina's encounters. Over 100 million Catholics belong to this society, which teaches the truths of salvation to the world according to Jesus' compassion and love. Our children want to know why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. We can answer this, but more than that, we must teach them that the Son (Sun) of God has Risen from the tomb and has set in our hearts the fire of God's love. We pray to God to make us saints just as two recent popes were made saints: St. Pope John Paul the Great and St. John XXIII. Keep praying!