By Fr. Alex Radulescu - During the Paschal season, we greet each other with this statement: Christ is Risen! and the response confirms the statement: Truly He is Risen!
Indeed, the Resurrection of Christ is at the very foundation of our Faith. Why? Because it confirms the authenticity of Jesus’ teachings, it proves that He is indeed the promised Messiah, the Savior who will redeem mankind from the Fall.
In Sunday's Gospel reading (John 20:19-31), we learned that Christ entered through closed (and locked) doors and visited His disciples who were hiding in fear. While being there, “He showed them his hands and his side”(v.20). Why would Christ do that? To prove to them that He is not just a vision but that His body is real, still bearing the scars of the crucifixion. It is the same guy and no other.
To emphasize this, St. John mentions that one of the twelve disciples, Thomas, was not there when Christ appeared first. And this Thomas, like many of us, wanted personal proof that Christ is indeed the Savior, the one who has power to rise from the dead. He wanted to put His hand, to touch, to feel this reality. I don’t blame him.
One of the perks of being Christ’s Apostle was that you will get to be a first-hand witness of the reality of His resurrection and spread the news to the entire world. Thomas knew Christ would not leave him out. Thomas wanted to see and touch the resurrected Lord, too. After eight days, Christ appeared again before all his disciples and invited Thomas to touch Him and believe.
So, my friends, what is Christ’s Resurrection telling us? St. John the Evangelist continues in verse 31 saying that“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.” All who believe in Christ and do His will inherit eternal life.
So, when we respond to “Christ is Risen” with “Truly He is Risen,” like Thomas the Apostle, we confess that Christ is indeed “our Lord and our God.” His Resurrection brings the hope of our salvation. Let us receive Him in our hearts. Amen.