Sunday Mass Times in Blessington Parish
Saturday Vigil 6.00pm
Sunday 10.00am 11.00am 7.30pm
|Blessington Union of Parishes, Church of Ireland.|
|For information on Services for Blessington Union of Parishes please click here|
CELEBRATING OUR ROOTS
We can’t believe our eyes anymore. When we look at a movie like ‘Jurassic Park’ or the blockbuster ‘Avatar’, computer-generated imagery continues to numb our senses. Today’s technology creates worlds that aren’t really there. If Jesus were to appear to us today as he did in the upper room on the day of his resurrection, we would probably be like Thomas. We might doubt our eyes and need to have more proof. Jesus blessed those who believed without seeing and he challenges us today to do the same.
Jesus in fact anticipated that some might be tempted to doubt their resurrection faith. The experience of Thomas has been recorded in today’s Gospel (John 20: 19-31) to affirm some important points. You see, through the exchange with Thomas, John the Evangelist affirmed that the body of Jesus was not an illusion or vision. It was real, and as the wounds attested, the crucified Jesus and the risen Jesus were one and the same person. The Thomas episode spoke directly to a problem that troubled the Early Church – how could one believe without having seen the risen Jesus? During the first decade after Jesus’ death and resurrection, those who had no experience of the risen Jesus believed the testimony of those who had. But when these eyewitnesses began to pass on, the problem grew more acute. Through the encounter with Thomas, the Evangelist illustrated that seeing first-hand was no guarantee of faith. Thomas, remember, saw and yet did not believe. It was only when Thomas moved beyond the sensational aspects of the resurrection that he came to faith. Instead of touching Jesus, he allowed himself to be touched by the grace Jesus extended to him as he challenged, ‘Do not be unbelieving but believe’. Thomas’ response ‘My Lord and my God’ reflected the Church’s deepening understanding of Jesus as Lord of all and as an equal of God the Creator of All. Thomas’ profession of faith also spoke to the experience of the community in which the fourth Gospel (St John’s) was developed.
Domitian, who was Emperor at the time, was demanding to be worshipped as divine. ‘Our Lord and God’ was the title by which he demanded to be addressed. Those who would not comply were persecuted and many were martyred. Through Thomas’ declaration of Jesus as his Lord and God, the Evangelist wished to encourage his readers to resist their persecutors and remain true to their faith.
Those who would persevere were blessed by the
risen Jesus. That same blessing is spoken in our hearing to encourage our
continued faithfulness to him in these days when our own faith is severely
challenged – ‘my Lord and my God’.
Fr. Kevin Lyon
Archdeacon of Glendalough