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  • Writer's pictureMonica F

Weekly Liturgy : April 1-7

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas Caravaggio ©1601
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas Caravaggio ©1601
John 20:19-31

19-23 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then 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.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


24-25 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told 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 in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”


26-29 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”


30-31 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


 

REFLECTIONS:

Thoughts from Monica, Chaplain of Young Adults:


I want to see. I want proof, not just words on a page: real life, real stuff, real proof. Certainty. 


Thomas wanted that too. The author of this Gospel story goes on to say basically… ‘Reader, you aren’t alone; look at Thomas, so relatable! Further, these gospel stories might not be the end to your means, but they can be the start of a journey.’ Later, and not recorded in this snippet, the next chapter continues, penning my favoritest verse in all of scripture: “There are many other things Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not be big enough for all the books that would be written.” 


When it boils down to it… I might want certainty, a line-item faith. But when the world is falling apart, relationships crumbling all around, divides widening, questions prevailing… unshakable faith kind of seems unfair.


Thanks be to God. We are invited on a journey to be, and also keep probing. To be with and further discover a human-person-divine who (here after surrendering to those undeserving of their power, only three days later) returned to real-life normal things with friends, like eating and hugging. Best: Jesus told his friend Thomas (the one with questions and doubts), “Peace be with you… put your hands for a moment in my place of pain that was and is no longer” (vs 27).


Jesus, with us, moment by moment, inviting us deeper.



 

PRACTICE:

Outward Mindset Application

Find a little something to appreciate/like about each person you encounter today—especially the difficult ones.


Non-Violent Communication Question of the Week:

Pay attention to your experiences of negative feelings this week. What unmet needs may those feelings be revealing deep inside you?


Pathways toward Centeredness

Enthusiasm (Loving God through celebration and praise):

Find a moment to take yourself less seriously. When a self-criticism or self-deprecation arises, exercise self-compassion and put your hand on your heart. Breathe in gratitude, gentleness, and kindness. Breathe out what was, and gently forgive yourself. Repeat as often as necessary.


Questions for Reflection

How can you cultivate a healthier relationship with uncertainty this week? Name an area you’re unsure of or worried about. Talk to a friend or pray about it, with the hope for a greater openness to the spectrum of possibilities.

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.



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