23rd APRIL 2022

John 20:19-31 - Jesus Appears to the Disciples



Acts 4: 13-21;             Ps 118: 1, 14-21;        Mk 16: 9-15



“He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” In today’s gospel passage, Mark narrates in brief how the Lord revealed himself to his disciples after his resurrection – first through Mary Magdalene, then to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus. However, the Eleven refused to believe in the testimony of others. Finally, Jesus himself appears to them and reproaches them for their “incredulity and obstinacy”. But he doesn’t take away the privilege of being his chosen ones. He hands over his mission to them, the mission to proclaim to others the good news of salvation just as it was proclaimed to them by Mary and the two disciples.

Here we come to realize why Jesus didn’t appear right in the beginning to the Eleven, and instead appeared to a few people and commanded them to carry the message to his chosen ones. They had themselves refused to believe the testimony of their own friends. Now, as they have been handed the same mission, they too must be ready to deal with “incredulity and obstinacy.” They too must face rejection and ridicule, as those who first came to them had felt. They had learnt from personal experience that even the most beautiful message in the world would not be readily and immediately accepted by all.

The Eleven refused to believe in the good news of salvation. Incredulity and obstinacy still plague many believers. That is why there is so much division in the Church, discord among the believers, and disagreement with the Magisterium. When one refuses to listen because one thinks one knows better, incredulity and obstinacy are the consequences. What is the way out? Aware of their own folly, the disciples received the mission of the Lord with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. May the same be always found in us as well.

Response: I will thank you, Lord, for you have answered me.

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