The days of the Easter Season are all about Jesus and his Resurrection. Obviously. Yet focus is placed on the Apostles and other disciples as well, since they witness the event. In the first place we see Peter and John running to the tomb, soon after the holy women discover it is empty and report the fact. Then we see the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, encountering the Lord on the way. Next, Jesus appears to ten Apostles, and a week later, to eleven (now including a repentant Thomas). The gathering of the Eleven is significant because the week long episode provides us with (once again) a snapshot of our own life of faith and the struggles that make Christian discipleship real and connected with its historic roots.
Jesus patiently encounters the Apostles and followers “where they are”: tired, broken, scared, and distrustful of the others. Jesus, however, shows them (and us) that he still trusts them (and us), and that is all important. Jesus doesn’t “clear the table” and get a “new-improved team” together. In fact, he insists that what is left of the original Twelve must be gathered to form his Church which will then spread the Gospel. Perhaps this confidence of our Lord is no where better demonstrated than by Thomas’s conversion. After one whole week of absence and stubborn doubt, Thomas encounters the Risen Lord, who insists that he touch Jesus’ wounds and “not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-8). Thomas is fully reinstated; eleven Apostles are stronger than ten, and the Good News will be proclaimed boldly through the ages. They are reassured in their vocation. The Kingdom of God is growing; it’s time to get loud about the Resurrection of Jesus!