Then (Jesus) said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe” (Jn 20:27).
Dear Lithuanians of the Diaspora, brothers and sisters in Christ,
Thomas did not believe the witnessing of the apostles, that Jesus was alive and in their midst, for one can be easily deceived by one’s sight. Thomas said, he would not believe until he saw Jesus with his own eyes and touched His wounds with his own hands. Jesus replied to Thomas, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29).
These words of Christ apply to us today, especially in this time of pandemic, when we are urged by doctors and scientists to keep our distance from each other and wear masks to protect against coronavirus, thus concealing ourselves from one another.
Thomas’s response to Jesus’ call was hindered by doubt and hardness of heart. Therefore, we must be vigilant so that we, too, do not become indifferent to the needs of our loved ones, which are even more difficult to notice now – after all, smiles, excitement, worries are hidden by facial masks. It is no coincidence that in his letter for this Lenten season, Pope Francis writes that “the highest expression of our faith and hope is the love experienced in following Christ, showing attention and compassion to every person.”
The cross is a special Christian symbol that leads to the resurrection. Through the Crucified One the sacrificial Love and Mercy of God is given to humanity. The Good Friday Gospel verses tell us about the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, while during the Liturgy, the Holy Cross is unveiled and worshipped by the congregation. They chant, “Lord, we worship Your Cross as we praise and exalt Your Holy Resurrection; behold, through the Cross, joy has come for all mankind.”
May the Mystery of the Cross unveil the blessing of the Risen Jesus to you, your families, and your parish communities as you celebrate Easter.
Blessed Holy Easter to all! May you be healthy and safe.
Msgr. Edmond J. Putrimas
Lithuanian Catholic Bishops Conference Delegate for Lithuanian Catholics of the Diaspora