Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 24-April-2022: Divine Mercy Sunday
Posted on 04/24/2022 2:39:01 AM PDT by Cronos
Divine Mercy Sunday
National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: White
The numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily
The faithful all used to meet by common consent in the Portico of Solomon. No one else ever dared to join them, but the people were loud in their praise and the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily. So many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles that the sick were even taken out into the streets and laid on beds and sleeping-mats in the hope that at least the shadow of Peter might fall across some of them as he went past. People even came crowding in from the towns round about Jerusalem, bringing with them their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Let the sons of Israel say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
I was dead, and now I am to live for ever and ever
My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure. I was on the island of Patmos for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus; it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet, ‘Write down all that you see in a book.’ I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle.
When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld. Now write down all that you see of present happenings and things that are still to come.’
Victimae Paschali Laudes
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see
upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as he rose!
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
he goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious king, thy mercy show!
Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
Eight days later, Jesus came again and stood among them
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.
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19. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi) The disciples, when they heard what Mary told them, were obliged either to disbelieve, or, if they believed, to grieve that He did not count them worthy to have the sight of Him. He did not let them however pass a whole day in such reflections, but in the midst of their longing trembling desires to see Him, presented Himself to them: Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews.
BEDE. Wherein is shewn the infirmity of the Apostles. They assembled with doors shut, through that same fear of the Jews, which had before scattered them: Came Jesus, and stood in the midst. He came in the evening, because they would be the most afraid at that time.
THEOPHYLACT. Or because He waited till all were assembled: and with shut doors, that he might shew how that in the very same way he had risen again, i. e. with the stone lying on the scpulchre.
AUGUSTINE. (Serm. cx. et cl. Pasch. aliquid simile.) Some are strongly indisposed to believe this miracle, and argue thus: If the same body rose again, which hung upon the Cross, how could that body enter through shut doors? But if thou comprehendest the mode, it is no miracle: when reason fails, then is faith edified.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx) The shut door did not hinder the body, wherein Divinity resided. He could enter without open doors, who was born without a violation of His mother’s virginity.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi) It is wonderful that they did not think him a phantom. But Mary had provided against this, by the faith she had wrought in them. And He Himself too shewed Himself so openly, and strengthened their wavering minds by His voice: And saith unto them, Peace he unto you, i. e. Be not disturbed. Wherein too He reminds them of what He had said before His crucifixion; My peace I give to you; (c. 14:27; 16:33) and again, In Me ye shall have peace.
GREGORY. (Hom. xxvi. in Evang.) And because their faith wavered even with the material body before them, He shewed them His hands and side: And when He had said this, He shewed them His hands and His side.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxxi) The nails had pierced His hands, the lance had pierced His side. For the healing of doubting hearts, the marks of the wounds were still preserved.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi) And what He had promised before the crucifixion, I shall see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, is now fulfilled: Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.
AUGUSTINE. (de Civ. Dei.) The glory, wherewith the righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father, i. e. in Christ’s body, we must believe to have been rather veiled than not to have been there at all. He accommodated His presence to man’s weak sight, and presented Himself in such form, as that His disciple could look at and recognise Him.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi) All these things brought them to a most confident faith. As they were in endless war with the Jews, He says again, Then said Jesus unto them again, Peace be unto you.
BEDE. A repetition is a confirmation: whether He repeats it because the grace of love is twofold, or because He it is who made of twain one.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi. 3) At the same time He shews the efficacy of the cross, by which He undoes all evil things, and gives all good things; which is peace. To the women above there was announced joy; for that sex was in sorrow, and had received the curse, In sorrow shalt thou bring forth. (Gen. 3:16) All hindrances then being removed, and every thing made straight, (πατωρθωται.) he adds, As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.
GREGORY. (Hom. xxii. in Evang.) The Father sent the Son, appointed Him to the work of redemption. He says therefore, As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you; i. e. I love you, now that I send you to persecution, with the same love wherewith My Father loved Me, when He sent Me to My sufferings.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxxi) We have learnt that the Son is equal to the Father: here He shews Himself Mediator; He Me, and I you.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi. 2) Having then given them confidence by His own miracles, and appealing to Him who sent Him, He uses a prayer to the Father, but of His own authority gives them power: And when He had said thus, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
AUGUSTINE. (iv. de Trin. c. xx) That corporeal breath was not the substance of the Holy Ghost, but to shew, by meet symbol, that the Holy Ghost proceeded not only from the Father, but the Son. For who would be so mad as to say, that it was one Spirit which He gave by breathing, and another which He sent after His ascension?
GREGORY. (Hom. xxvi.) But why is He first given to the disciples on earth, and afterwards sent from heaven? Because there are two commandments of love, to love God, and to love our neighbour. The spirit to love our neighbour is given on earth, the spirit to love God is given from heaven. As then love is one, and there are two commandments; so the Spirit is one, and there are two gifts of the Spirit. And the first is given by our Lord while yet upon earth, the second from heaven, because by the love of our neighbour we learn how to arrive at the love of God.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi) Some say that by breathing He did not give them the Spirit, but made them meet to receive the Spirit. For if Daniel’s senses were so overpowered by the sight of the Angel, how would they have been overwhelmed in receiving that unutterable gift, if He had not first prepared them for it! It would not be wrong however to say that they received then the gift of a certain spiritual power, not to raise the dead and do miracles, but to remit sins: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxxi. 3) The love of the Church, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, remits the sins of those who partake of it; but retains the sins of those who do not. Where then He has said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, He instantly makes mention of the remission and retaining of sins.
GREGORY. (Hom. xxvi.) We must understand that those who first received the Holy Ghost, for innocence of life in themselves, and preaching to a few others, received it openly after the resurrection, that they might profit not a few only, but many. The disciples who were called to such works of humility, to what a height of glory are they led! Lo, not only have they salvation for themselves, but are admitted1 to the powers of the supreme Judgment-seat; so that, in the place of God, they retain some men’s sins, and remit others. Their place in the Church, the Bishops now hold; who receive the authority to bind, when they are admitted to the rank of government. Great the honour, but heavy the burden of the place. It is ill if one who knows not how to govern his own life, shall be judge of another’s.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvi. 4) A priest though he may have ordered well his own life, yet, if he have not exercised proper vigilance over others, is sent to hell with the evil doers. Wherefore, knowing the greatness of their danger, pay them all respect, even though they be not men of notable goodness. For they who are in rule, should not be judged by those who are under them. And their incorrectness of life will not at all invalidate what they do by commission from God. For not only cannot a priest, but not even angel or archangel, do any thing of themselves; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost do all. The priest only furnishes the tongue, and the hand. For it were not just that the salvation of those who come to the Sacraments in faith, should be endangered by another’s wickedness. (Hom. lxxxvii. 1). At the assembly of the disciples all were present but Thomas, who probably had not returned from the dispersion: But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
ALCUIN. Didymus, double or doubtful, because he doubted in believing: Thomas, depth, because with most sure faith he penetrated into the depth of our Lord’s divinity.
GREGORY. (Hom. xxvi.) It was not an accident that that particular disciple was not present. The Divine mercy ordained that a doubting disciple should, by feeling in his Master the wounds of the flesh, heal in us the wounds of unbelief. The unbelief of Thomas is more profitable to our faith, than the belief of the other disciples; for, the touch by which he is brought to believe, confirming our minds in belief, beyond all question.
BEDE. But why does this Evangelist say that Thomas was absent, when Luke writes that two disciples on their return from Emmaus found the eleven assembled? We must understand that Thomas had gone out, and that in the interval of his absence, Jesus came and stood in the midst.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvii. 1) As to believe directly, (ἁπλῶς) and any how, is the mark of too easy a mind, so is too much enquiring of a gross one: and this is Thomas’s fault. For when the Apostle said, We have seen the Lord, he did not believe, not because he discredited them, but from an idea of the impossibility of the thing itself: The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. Being the grossest of all, he required the evidence of the grossest sense, viz. the touch, and would not even believe his eyes: for he does not say only, Except I shall see, but adds, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side.
26. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you,
27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvii) Consider the mercy of the Lord, how for the sake of one soul, He exhibits His wounds. And yet the disciples deserved credit, and He had Himself foretold the event. Notwithstanding, because one person, Thomas, would examine Him, Christ allowed him. But He did not appear to him immediately, but waited till the eighth day, in order that the admonition being given in the presence of the disciples, might kindle in him greater desire, and strengthen his faith for the future. And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
AUGUSTINE. (in Serm. Tap. ad Cat. ii. 8.) You ask; If He entered by the shut door, where is the nature of His body? (ubi est modus corporis.) And I reply; If He walked on the sea, where is the weight of His body? The Lord did that as the Lord; and did He, after His resurrection, cease to be the Lord?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvii. 1) Jesus then comes Himself, and does not wait till Thomas interrogates Him. But to shew that He heard what Thomas said to the disciples, He uses the same words. And first He rebukes him; Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: secondly, He admonishes him; And be not faithless, but believing. Note how that before they receive the Holy Ghost faith wavers, but afterward is firm. We may wonder how an incorruptible body could retain the marks of the nails. But it was done in condescension; in order that they might be sure that it was the very person Who was crucified.
AUGUSTINE. (de Symb. ad Cat. ii. 8) He might, had He pleased, have wiped all spot and trace of wound from His glorified body; but He had reasons for retaining them. He shewed them to Thomas, who would not believe except he saw and touched; and He will shew them to His enemies, not to say, as He did to Thomas, Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed, but to convict them: Behold the Man whom ye crucified, see the wounds which ye inflicted, recognise the side which ye pierced, that it was by you, and for you, that it was opened, and yet ye cannot enter there.
AUGUSTINE. (xxii. Civ. Dei, xix) We are, as I know not how, afflicted with such love for the blessed martyrs, that we would wish in that kingdom to see on their bodies the marks of those wounds which they have borne for Christ’s sake. And perhaps we shall see them; for they will not have deformity, but dignity, and, though on the body, shine forth not with bodily, but with spiritual beauty (virtutis). Nor yet, if any of the limbs of martyrs have been cut off, shall they therefore appear without them in the resurrection of the dead; for it is said, There shall not an hair of your head perish. But if it be fit that in that new world, the traces of glorious wounds should still be preserved on the immortal flesh, in the places where the limbs were cut off there, though those same limbs withal be not lost but restored, shall the wounds appear. For though all the blemishes of the body shall then be no more, yet the evidences of virtue are not to be called blemishes.
GREGORY. (Hom. xxvi.) Our Lord gave that flesh to be touched which He had introduced through shut doors: wherein two wonderful, and, according to human reason, contradictory things appear, viz. that after the resurrection He had a body incorruptible, and yet palpable. For that which is palpable must be corruptible, and that which is incorruptible must be impalpable. But He shewed Himself incorruptible and yet palpable, to prove that His body after His resurrection was the same in nature as before, but different in glory.
GREGORY. (Mor. xii. 31) Our body also in that resurrection to glory will be subtle by means of the action of the Spirit, but palpable by its true nature, not, as Eutychius says, impalpable, and subtler than the winds and the air.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxxi) Thomas saw and touched the man, and confessed the God whom he neither saw nor touched. By means of the one he believed the other undoubtingly: Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.
THEOPHYLACT. He who had been before unbelieving, after touching the body shewed himself the best divine; for he asserted the twofold nature and one Person of Christ; by saying, My Lord, the human nature, by saying, My God, the divine, and by joining them both, confessed that one and the same Person was Lord and God.
Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxxi) He saith not, Hast touched me, but, hast seen me; the sight being a kind of general sense, and put in the place often of the other four senses; as when we say, Hear, and see how well it sounds; smell, and see how sweet it smells; taste, and see how well it tastes; touch, and see how warm it is. Wherefore also our Lord says, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands. What is this but, Touch and see? And yet he had not eyes in his finger. He refers them both to seeing and to touching, when He says, Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed. Although it might be said, that the disciple did not dare to touch, what was offered to be touched.
GREGORY. (Hom. xxvi.) But when the Apostle says, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, (Heb. 11:1) it is plain that things which are seen, are objects not of faith, but of knowledge. Why then is it said to Thomas who saw and touched, Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed? Because he saw one thing, believed another; saw the man, confessed the God. But what follows is very gladdening; Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. In which sentence we are specially included, who have not seen Him with the eye, but retain Him in the mind, provided we only develope our faith in good works. For he only really believes, who practises what he believes.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxxi) He uses the past tense, the future to His knowledge having already taken place by His own predestination.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvii) If any one then says, Would that I had lived in those times, and seen Christ doing miracles! let him reflect, Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
THEOPHYLACT. Here He means the disciples who had believed without seeing the print of the nails, and His side.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxvii) John having related less than the other Evangelists, adds, And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. Yet neither did the others relate all, but only what was sufficient for the purpose of convincing men. He probably here refers to the miracles which our Lord did after His resurrection, and therefore says, In the presence of His disciples, and they being the only persons with whom He conversed after His resurrection. Then to let you understand, that the miracles were not done for the sake of the disciples only, He adds, But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; addressing Himself to mankind generally. And, this belief, he then says, profits ourselves, not Him in Whom we believe. And that believing ye might have life through His name, i. e. through Jesus, which is life.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|19.||Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you.||Cum ergo sero esset die illo, una sabbatorum, et fores essent clausæ, ubi erant discipuli congregati propter metum Judæorum : venit Jesus, et stetit in medio, et dixit eis : Pax vobis.||ουσης ουν οψιας τη ημερα εκεινη τη μια των σαββατων και των θυρων κεκλεισμενων οπου ησαν οι μαθηται συνηγμενοι δια τον φοβον των ιουδαιων ηλθεν ο ιησους και εστη εις το μεσον και λεγει αυτοις ειρηνη υμιν|
|20.||And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.||Et cum hoc dixisset, ostendit eis manus et latus. Gavisi sunt discipuli, viso Domino.||και τουτο ειπων εδειξεν αυτοις τας χειρας και την πλευραν αυτου εχαρησαν ουν οι μαθηται ιδοντες τον κυριον|
|21.||He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.||Dixit ergo eis iterum : Pax vobis. Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos.||ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο ιησους παλιν ειρηνη υμιν καθως απεσταλκεν με ο πατηρ καγω πεμπω υμας|
|22.||When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.||Hæc cum dixisset, insufflavit, et dixit eis : Accipite Spiritum Sanctum :||και τουτο ειπων ενεφυσησεν και λεγει αυτοις λαβετε πνευμα αγιον|
|23.||Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.||quorum remiseritis peccata, remittuntur eis : et quorum retinueritis, retenta sunt.||αν τινων αφητε τας αμαρτιας αφιενται αυτοις αν τινων κρατητε κεκρατηνται|
|24.||Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.||Thomas autem unus ex duodecim, qui dicitur Didymus, non erat cum eis quando venit Jesus.||θωμας δε εις εκ των δωδεκα ο λεγομενος διδυμος ουκ ην μετ αυτων οτε ηλθεν ο ιησους|
|25.||The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.||Dixerunt ergo ei alii discipuli : Vidimus Dominum. Ille autem dixit eis : Nisi videro in manibus ejus fixuram clavorum, et mittam digitum meum in locum clavorum, et mittam manum meam in latus ejus, non credam.||ελεγον ουν αυτω οι αλλοι μαθηται εωρακαμεν τον κυριον ο δε ειπεν αυτοις εαν μη ιδω εν ταις χερσιν αυτου τον τυπον των ηλων και βαλω τον δακτυλον μου εις τον τυπον των ηλων και βαλω την χειρα μου εις την πλευραν αυτου ου μη πιστευσω|
|26.||And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you.||Et post dies octo, iterum erant discipuli ejus intus, et Thomas cum eis. Venit Jesus januis clausis, et stetit in medio, et dixit : Pax vobis.||και μεθ ημερας οκτω παλιν ησαν εσω οι μαθηται αυτου και θωμας μετ αυτων ερχεται ο ιησους των θυρων κεκλεισμενων και εστη εις το μεσον και ειπεν ειρηνη υμιν|
|27.||Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.||Deinde dicit Thomæ : Infer digitum tuum huc, et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam, et mitte in latus meum : et noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis.||ειτα λεγει τω θωμα φερε τον δακτυλον σου ωδε και ιδε τας χειρας μου και φερε την χειρα σου και βαλε εις την πλευραν μου και μη γινου απιστος αλλα πιστος|
|28.||Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God.||Respondit Thomas, et dixit ei : Dominus meus et Deus meus.||και απεκριθη θωμας και ειπεν αυτω ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου|
|29.||Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.||Dixit ei Jesus : Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti : beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt.||λεγει αυτω ο ιησους οτι εωρακας με πεπιστευκας μακαριοι οι μη ιδοντες και πιστευσαντες|
|30.||Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book.||Multa quidem et alia signa fecit Jesus in conspectu discipulorum suorum, quæ non sunt scripta in libro hoc.||πολλα μεν ουν και αλλα σημεια εποιησεν ο ιησους ενωπιον των μαθητων αυτου α ουκ εστιν γεγραμμενα εν τω βιβλιω τουτω|
|31.||But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.||Hæc autem scripta sunt ut credatis, quia Jesus est Christus Filius Dei : et ut credentes, vitam habeatis in nomine ejus.||ταυτα δε γεγραπται ινα πιστευσητε οτι ιησους εστιν ο χριστος ο υιος του θεου και ινα πιστευοντες ζωην εχητε εν τω ονοματι αυτου|
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
From: Acts 5:12-16
The Growth of the Church
 Now many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico.  None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor.  And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women,  so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.  The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
12-16. In this third summary (cf. 2:42-47 and 4:32-37) of the lifestyle of the first community, St Luke refers particularly to the Apostles' power to work miracles. These miracles confirm to the people that the Kingdom of God has in fact come among them. Grace abounds and it shows its presence by spiritual conversions and physical cures. These "signs and wonders" are not done to amaze people or provoke curiosity but to awaken faith.
Miracles always accompany God's Revelation to men; they are part of that Revelation. They are not simply a bending of the laws of nature: they are a kind of advance sign of the glorious transformation which the world will undergo at the end of time. Thus, just as a sinner, when he repents, obeys God without ceasing to be free, so matter can be changed if its Creator so ordains, undermining or destroying its own laws.
Miracles are a form of accreditation God gives to the Gospel message: they are actions of God in support of the truth of his messengers' preaching. "If they had not worked miracles and wonders," Origen says, "Jesus' disciples could not have moved their hearers to give up their traditional religion for new teachings and truths, and to embrace, at the risk of their lives, the teachings which were being proclaimed to them" ("Against Celsus", I,46). And St Ephraern comments: "The Apostles' miracles made the resurrection and ascension of the Lord credible" ("Armenian Commentary, ad loc".).
Through miracles God speaks to the minds and hearts of those who witness them, inviting them to believe but not forcing their freedom or lessening the merit of their faith. The Apostles follow in the footsteps of our Lord, who "supported and confirmed his preaching by miracles to arouse the faith of his hearers and give them assurance, not to coerce them" (Vatican II, "Dignitatis Humanae", 11). If people have the right dispositions they will generally have no difficulty in recognizing and accepting miracles. Common sense and religions instinct tell them that miracles are possible, because all things are subject to God; however, prejudice and resistance to conversion and its implications can blind a person and make him deny something which is quite obvious to a man of good will.
"Since the Apostles were all together, the people brought them their sick on beds and pallets. From every quarter fresh tribute of wonder accrued to them -- from them that believed, from them that were healed, such was the Apostles' boldness of speech and the virtuous behavior of the believers. Although the Apostles modestly ascribe these things to Christ, in whose name they acted, their own life and noble conduct also helped to produce this effect" ("Hom. On Acts", 12).
Reason for Writing
 I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of' the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet [11a] saying, "Write what you see in a book."
 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,  and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast.
 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me. saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last,  and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.  Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter."
1-20. After a brief prologue (vv. 1-3) and a letter-style greeting (vv. 4-8), St John describes a vision which acts as an introduction to the entire book; in it the risen Christ is depicted with features identifying his divinity and his position as Lord and Savior of the churches.
In the course of the book Jesus Christ will also appear as God's envoy, sent to teach Christians of the time, and subsequent generations (chaps. 2-3), and to console them in the midst of persecution by proclaiming God's design for the future of the world and of the Church (chaps. 4-22).
9-20. After greeting the churches (vv. 4-8) the author explains his reason for writing: he has been commanded to do so by his glorious Lord, in a vision of the risen Christ concerning his Church.
In Sacred Scripture God's messages are frequently communicated to prophets in the form of a vision (cf. Is 6; Ezek 1:4 - 3:15; etc.; Zech 1:7-2:9; etc.). Accounts of divine visions are particularly found in "books of revelation" or apocalypses, such as Daniel 8-12, and also in other Jewish and Christian writings of the time immediately before and after Christ's life on earth: although not included in the canon of the Bible, these writings were designed to keep up Christians' morale in times of persecution. In a genuinely prophetic vision God elevates the prophet's mind to enable him to understand what God desires to tell him (cf. "Summa Theologiae," II-lI, q. 173, a. 3). In the Apocalypse, when St John reports his vision he is making known the message given him by the risen Christ: Christ is continuing to speak to his Church in a number of ways, including the exhortations and teachings contained in this book.
9-11. Like other prophets and apostles (cf. Ezek 3:12; Acts 10:10; 22:17; 2 Cor 12:2-3), John feels himself caught up by a divine force; in an ecstasy he hears the voice of our Lord; its power and strength he describes as a trumpet.
Some scholars think that the seven churches listed here were chosen because of their particular situation at the time. They stand for the entire Church universal, and therefore what is said in the seven letters is addressed to all Christians who, in one way or another, find themselves in situations similar to that of these churches of proconsular Asia.
The Apostles' vigilant care of the Church is discernible in many of the letters they addressed to their communities. Like St Paul (cf. 2 Cor 11:28; 1 Thess 2:2), the other Apostles felt anxiety for all the churches. St Peter, for example, wrote to elders telling them to be good shepherds of the flock God gave into their care, tending it "not by constraint but willingly, as God would have you, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock" (1 Pet 5:2-3).
This pastoral solicitude leads St John to show solidarity with the joy and affliction of Christians of his day. His consoling words come from someone who well knows (because he has learned it from Jesus and later from his own experience) that fidelity to the Gospel calls for self-denial and even martyrdom. Communion and solidarity are wonderful features of the mystical body of Christ: they stem from the fact that all Christians are united to each other and to Jesus Christ, the head of that body which is the Church (cf. Col 1:18; Eph 4:16; etc.). The visionary of Patmos clearly has tremendous love for Christ and for the Church. We should remember that "charity more than any other virtue unites us closely with Christ, and it is the heavenly ardor of this love which has caused so many sons and daughters of the Church to rejoice in suffering contumely for his sake, joyfully to meet and overcome the severest trials, and even to shed their blood and die for him" (Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis", 33).
From the very start of his public ministry our Lord foretold how much his followers would have to suffer for his sake. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount, he said, "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Mt 5:11-12).
"The Lord's day": the "dies Dominica", Sunday, the day which the Church, ever since the apostolic age, keeps as its weekly holy day in place of the Jewish sabbath, because it is the day on which Jesus rose from the dead: "on this day Christ's faithful are bound to come together into one place. They should listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the passion, resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God by whom they have been begotten 'anew through the resurrection of Christ from the dead, unto a living hope' (1 Pet 1:3)" (Vatican II, "Sacrosanctum Concilium", 106). This day should be sanctified by attending Mass and also by giving time to other devotions, rest, and activities which help build up friendship with others, especially in the family circle.
12-16. The lampstands in this first vision symbolize the churches at prayer; they remind us of the seven-branched candlestick (the "menorah") which used to burn in the temple of Jerusalem and which is described in detail in Exodus 25:31-20. In the midst of the candlestick, as if guarding and governing the churches, a mysterious figure appears, in the form of a man. The expression "son of man" originates in Daniel 7:14 where, as here, it refers to someone depicted as Judge at the end of time. The various symbols used indicate his importance. His "long robe" shows his priesthood (cf. Ex 28:4; Zech 3:4); the golden girdle, his kingship (cf. 1 Mac 10:89); his white hair, his eternity (cf. Dan 7:9); his eyes "like a flame of fire" symbolize his divine wisdom (cf. Rev 2:23), and his bronze feet his strength and stability.
The seven stars stand for the angels of the seven churches (cf. v. 20), and our Lord's holding them in his hand is a sign of his power and providence. Finally, the splendor of his face recalls the Old Testament theophanies or apparitions, and the sound coming from his mouth shows the power of his word (cf. Heb 4:12).
It is interesting to note that our Lord used the title "son of man" to refer to himself (cf., e.g., Mt 9:6; Mk 10:45; Lk 6:22); it is always used in St John's Gospel to indicate Christ's divinity and transcendence (cf., e.g., Jn 1:51; 3:14; 9:35; 12:23). "Burnished bronze": Latin versions transliterate the original as "orichalc", a shining alloy of bronze and gold.
17-19. When the glory of Christ, or the glory of God, is manifested, man becomes so conscious of his insignificance and unworthiness that he is unable to remain standing in his presence. This happened to the Israelites at Sinai (cf. Ex 19:16-24) and to the Apostles on Mount Tabor (cf. Mk 9:2-8 and par.). A person who experiences the divine presence in a vision reacts in the same way (cf. Ezek 1:29f; Dan 8:18; etc.), and in the case of the Apocalypse it happens when Christ is seen in glory surrounded by his Church. However, the risen Christ's first word to his followers was one of peace and assurance (cf., e.g., Mt 28:5, 10), and here he places his right hand on the seer's head in a gesture of protection.
The risen Christ is depicted as reassuring the Christian, who sees him as having absolute dominion over all things (he is the first and the last) though he shared man's mortal nature. By his death and resurrection Christ has overcome death; he has dominion over death and over the mysterious world beyond the grave--Hades, the place of the dead (cf. Mm 16:33). "Christ is alive. This is the great truth which fills our faith with meaning. Jesus, who died on the cross, has risen. He has triumphed over death; he has overcome sorrow, anguish and the power of darkness" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 102).
The vision St John is given is meant for the benefit of the whole Church, as can be seen from the fact that he is told to write down what he sees; it is connected with contemporary events and with the future. The immediate context of the vision is the salvation of the churches mentioned and the glory of Christ who is caring for them (chaps. 2-3): the future has to do with the afflictions the Church must undergo and the full establishment of Christ's kingdom: his second coming will mean definitive victory over the powers of evil (ci chaps. 4-22).
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."  When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you."  And 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; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Jesus Appears to the Disciples (Continuation)
 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, 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 in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe."
 Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but 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; and put out your hand, and place it in My side; do not be faithless, but believing."  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 believe."
 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
19-20. Jesus appears to the Apostles on the evening of the day of which He rose. He presents Himself in their midst without any need for the doors to be opened, by using the qualities of His glorified body; but in order to dispel any impression that He is only a spirit He shows them His hands and His side: there is no longer any doubt about its being Jesus Himself, about His being truly risen from the dead. He greets them twice using the words of greeting customary among the Jews, with the same tenderness as He previously used put into this salutation. These friendly words dispel the fear and shame the Apostles must have been feeling at behaving so disloyally during His passion: He has created the normal atmosphere of intimacy, and now He will endow them with transcendental powers.
21. Pope Leo XIII explained how Christ transferred His own mission to the Apostles: "What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. `As the Father hath sent Me, even so I send you' (John 20:21). `As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world' (John 17:18). [...] When about to ascend into Heaven, He sends His Apostles in virtue of the same power by which He had been sent from the Father; and He charges them to spread abroad and propagate His teachings (cf. Matthew 28:18), so that those obeying the Apostles might be saved, and those disobeying should perish (cf. Mark 16:16). [...] Hence He commands that the teaching of the Apostles should be religiously accepted and piously kept as if it were His own: `He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me' (Luke 10:16). Wherefore the Apostles are ambassadors of Christ as He is the ambassador of the Father" ([Pope] Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum"). In this mission the bishops are the successors of the Apostles: "Christ sent the Apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father, and then through the Apostles made their successors, the bishops, sharers in His consecration and mission. The function of the bishops' ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so that they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ" (Vatican II, "Presbyterorum Ordinis", 2).
22-23. The Church has always understood--and has in fact defined—that Jesus Christ here conferred on the Apostles authority to forgive sins, a power which is exercised in the Sacrament of Penance. "The Lord then especially instituted the Sacrament of Penance when, after being risen from the dead, He breathed upon His disciples and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit...' The consensus of all the Fathers has always acknowledged that by this action so sublime and words so clear the power of forgiving and retaining sins was given to the Apostles and their lawful successors for reconciling the faithful who have fallen after Baptism" (Council of Trent, "De Paenitentia", Chapter 1).
The Sacrament of Penance is the most sublime _expression of God's love and mercy towards men, described so vividly in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (cf. Luke 15:11-32). The Lord always awaits us, with His arms wide open, waiting for us to repent--and then He will forgive us and restore us to the dignity of being His sons.
The Popes have consistently recommended Christians to have regular recourse to this Sacrament: "For a constant and speedy advancement in the path of virtue we highly recommend the pious practice of frequent Confession, introduced by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; for by this means we grow in a true knowledge of ourselves and in Christian humility, bad habits are uprooted, spiritual negligence and apathy are prevented, the conscience is purified and the will strengthened, salutary spiritual direction is obtained, and grace is increased by the efficacy of the Sacrament itself" ([Pope] Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis").
24-28. Thomas' doubting moves our Lord to give him special proof that His risen body is quite real. By so doing He bolsters the faith of those who would later on find faith in Him. "Surely you do not think", [Pope] St. Gregory the Great comments, "that is was a pure accident that the chosen disciple was missing; who on his return was told about the appearance and on hearing about it doubted; doubting, so that he might touch and believe by touching? It was not an accident; God arranged that it should happen. His clemency acted in this wonderful way so that through the doubting disciple touching the wounds in His Master's body, our own wounds of incredulity might be healed. [...] And so the disciple, doubting and touching, was changed into a witness of the truth of the Resurrection" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 26, 7).
Thomas' reply is not simply an exclamation: it is an assertion, an admirable act of faith in the divinity of Christ: "My Lord and my God!" These words are an ejaculatory prayer often used by Christians, especially as an act of faith in the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist.
29. [Pope] St. Gregory the Great explains these words of our Lord as follows: "By St. Paul saying `faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen' (Hebrews 11:1), it becomes clear that faith has to do with things which are not seen, for those which are seen are no longer the object of faith, but rather of experience. Well then, why is Thomas told, when he saw and touched, `Because you have seen, you have believed?' Because he saw one thing, and believed another. It is certain that mortal man cannot see divinity; therefore, he saw the man and recognized Him as God, saying, `My Lord and my God.' In conclusion: seeing, he believed, because contemplating that real man he exclaimed that He was God, whom he could not see" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 27, 8).
Like everyone else Thomas needed the grace of God to believe, but in addition to this grace he was given an exceptional proof; his faith would have had more merit had he accepted the testimony of the other Apostles. Revealed truths are normally transmitted by word, by the testimony of other people who, sent by Christ and aided by the Holy Spirit, preach the deposit of faith (cf. Mark 16:15-16). "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the preaching of Christ" (Romans 10:17). The preaching of the Gospel, therefore, carries with it sufficient guarantees of credibility, and by accepting that preaching man "offers the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals, willingly assenting to the revelation given" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 5).
"What follows pleases us greatly: `Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.' For undoubtedly it is we who are meant, who confess with our soul Him whom we have not seen in the flesh. It refers to us, provided we live in accordance with the faith, for only he truly believes who practices what the believes" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 26, 9).
30-31. This is a kind of first epilogue or conclusion to the Gospel of St. John. The more common opinion is that he added Chapter 21 later, which covers such important events as the triple confession of St. Peter, confirmation of his primacy and our Lord's prophecy about the death of the beloved disciple. These verses sum up the inspired writer's whole purpose in writing his Gospel -- to have men believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ announced by the prophets in the Old Testament, the Son of God, so that by believing this saving truth, which is the core of Revelation, they might already begin to partake of eternal life (cf. John 1:12, 2:23; 3:18; 14:13; 15:16; 16:23-26).
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