I am filled with wonder and awe once again as I reflect on the experience of going from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning! Think about it! On Ash Wednesday we had ashes imposed on our foreheads and the words were spoken “Remember your mortality! From dust you came and to dust you shall return! Repent! and believe the Gospel. From the dust of Ash Wednesday to the Glory of Easter! From Ashes to Glory -what a journey it has been. Our life journey began the day that we were born and continues daily through this earthly life and on into the glory of everlasting life. The joys and the sorrows, the highs and the lows, the thrills, and the terrors, the satisfactions, and the disappointments...all blend together to make what we call LIFE!
The Gospel lesson from John this week recalls the story of the disciples being gathered again in the upper room on Easter evening. Judas, of course, is not there and Thomas is absent. In the middle of their gathering, Jesus appears among them, coming through locked doors, and overcoming the grave! His first words to his beloved disciples are “Peace be with you.” And he showed them his hands and side.And the disciples rejoiced! And from that moment on their lives took on new meaning as Jesus continuing teaching them the ways of true discipleship. Thomas was absent and later those present joyfully shared with him their exciting encounter with their resurrected Lord. Thomas doubted their story and his famous words “unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my hand in his side, I will not believe .” Perhaps Thomas was the first to utter this mantra of those struggling with their faith, SEEING IS BELIEVEING! A week later Jesus gives Thomas the opportunity to See and Believe!
Today as we continue our journey, From Ashes to Glory, what do you need to see and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name?