Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon - The Unveiling of a New World
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, Revelation comes from the Latin “Revelatio,” which in turn translates the Greek “Apokalypsis”—which means, literally, “unveiling.” This final book of the Bible, which has fascinated Christians and non-Christians for two thousand years, is not primarily about the end of the physical world; rather, it is meant to unveil something that every generation of Christians needs to see—namely, a new world that God wants to be born out of the ruins of the old.
April 24, 2022
Second Sunday of Easter - Sunday of Divine Mercy
Gospel: Jn 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. 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.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to 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 into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “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.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Thomas says that he will not believe in the Lord’s Resurrection unless he puts his finger in the nailmarks and his hand in Jesus’ side. Thomas is a saint especially suitable for our time. Modernity has been marked by two great qualities: skepticism and empiricism, the very qualities we can discern in Thomas.
And when the risen Jesus reappears, he invites the doubter to look, see, and touch. But then that devastating line: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
If we stubbornly say—even in the area of science—that we will accept only what we can clearly see and touch and control, we wouldn’t know much about reality. This helps us to better understand Jesus’ words to Thomas. It is not that we who have not seen and have believed are settling for a poor substitute for vision. No; we are being described as blessed, more blessed than Thomas. God is doing all sorts of things that we cannot see, measure, control, fully understand. But it is an informed faith that allows one to fall in love with such a God.