Sunday, 19 April 2009

Be not unbelieving, but believing! (John 20:19-31)

It is now eight days after Easter as we read in part of the gospel the story of Thomas, who was not with the disciples the first time Jesus appeared to them on Easter itself as we read in the Gospel.

I think I already wrote about the doubt among the disciples in my brief reflection of Easter Sunday and just wanted to put in the quote from the heading: "Be not unbelieving, but believing!" (Jn 20:19-31) as a continuation of the article.

In the last few days I did get the opportunity to go to Rome for a few days to meet a few friends I know who are studying in the Eternal City, and it really ties in nicely on the line "be not unbelieving, but believing!", at least for me!

Last Monday in the Irish College there were two ordinations to the diaconate, of Patrick O Donohue (Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora) and Stephen Kelly (Diocese of Meath).
As my spiritual birth is in Galway (I was baptized by Fr. Hugh Clifford who is studying in the Irish College) I joined the group in going to the General Audience on Wednesday morning, as can be seen on the pictures shown here.

It was great to be back in St. Peters Square, an experience that very much moved me the first time I was there two years ago on Palm Sunday.

There is a very positive atmosphere with so many pilgrims together and it really shows that whatever the public opinion is, the Catholic Church is very much alive! You really get a touch of the "more" that there is in our faith!

In a way this atmosphere, and I guess the whole atmosphere of being on a pilgrimage, it that we get a touch of the peace of God, a touch of this presence:  "Peace be with you." (Joh 20:26 RSV)

This then brings us to proclaim as Thomas did "My Lord and my God!" (Joh 20:28 RSV), we realise that our faith is not an empty belief in words of others, but we see it ourselves, we feel and touch it, we experience it and we realise deep in ourselves that it is more!

It was a wonderful week in which I met a few old friends, and also made a few new ones. A week of visiting some of the most beautiful churches in the world, standing in the most Holy Places you can find... it really leaves a sense of eternity behind...


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