Sisters and brothers today we commemorate the Second Sunday of Easter. There are several useful chapters from the Bible that I would like to share with you and we can actually learn and remember some very useful things. Let us read.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
We live in the chaotic time. Every day is so busy. Run to work, run home, run to meet your friends or family members and all of the activities that we do on a daily level are taking away our inner peace. Let us pray sisters and brothers for a moment and let us remember who was the one that can give us peace – Lord Jesus. As we read the first thing that Jesus said when he appeared in front of his disciples after the resurrection were: Peace be with you! Remember anytime when you feel chaotic, nervous, exhausted and stressed you can find your peace in Jesus.
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Look at the apostle Tomas. He does not believe that Jesus is alive and that He really resurrected. Oh, this is such a familiar feeling my dear. I remember those many times when I am spiritually down or when I feel so over worried about my earthly problems – the feeling is like Jesus is not real. It is a feeling like I want to touch him, I want to hug him and I want his real material presence here in my life. This story from the Bible reminds us that we are not the only one. Maybe at the moment you don’t feel that he is here. And similarly to Thomas you would like to feel Him even closer and even more material. Maybe your life is so difficult or you have many problems and it seems like Jesus is far away. Remember, dear sister and brother he is here. He is always here.
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
In the last part of this short sermon I would like to share one more story from the Bible with you. Something that teaches us about the way we should be acting toward each other. Let us read.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Here we could remember how important is not to be in love with all the material things that surround us. Wanting to have a lot of money, expensive clothes, expensive car, a luxurious house etc. actually produces bigger and bigger desire to have more. Because people are never satisfied. This is human nature. But what we really need is some clothes, a bed to sleep, a roof above our heads, a plate to eat and a glass to drink. This is all so simple and this is the thing which Christians who were living in the first century knew very well. They were sharing everything. They were modest and humble. I pray for all of us to be like them. But not because Bible says so, but because believe me we would be happier, we would be more grateful and we would appreciate this life much more. Because the life is a gift from God and it is beautiful by itself. There is no need for material wealth to be happy. And here is one more short story:
The Healing at the Pool
5 Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie – the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
An important wisdom about our health is to be aware that God is our only real doctor. Sometimes we are sick or sometimes we suffer some health related issues and we desperately want and pray for Jesus to heal us – right now and very quickly. In this story we learnt that this man was sick for 38 years. Hey, 38 years of hope to recover. That is a long period of time. I just want you to remember this thing whenever you feel sick or even weak, or mentally exhausted. Maybe Jesus will not intervene right now, maybe you should wait for some time. In order to be patient or to learn something. Because the life is the lesson. And everything happens with the reason. Even the sickness. Let us all remember that. But I hope that you all will be healthy and happy and that in joy and peace we will celebrate today`s holyday. Peace be to you all in the name of Jesus. Amen.