reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Sunday, April 16, 2023
Pope Francis Regina Caeli prayer and address 04.16.2023
Pope at Regina Coeli: Seek the Risen One in the community
Pope Francis insists on the need to remain within the Church in order to find Jesus, while calling on the faithful to open our arms to all those who are wounded by life, excluding no one from God’s mercy.
By Christopher Wells
There’s more to the Apostle St Thomas than his famous doubts about Jesus’ Resurrection, Pope Francis said during the Regina Coeli on Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Pope began his reflection on the day’s Gospel by noting that “Thomas was not the only one who struggled to believe.” But unlike his fellow Apostles, who closed themselves inside the Upper Room, Thomas “showed he was courageous,” he “went out, running the risk that someone might recognize, report, or arrest him.”
When the other Apostles told Thomas that Jesus had appeared to them, he struggled to believe them, saying he will believe only when he can see and touch the wounds of Jesus.
Seeking Jesus in the Church
Thomas, the Pope said, “wants an extraordinary sign – to touch the wounds. Jesus shows them to him, but in an ordinary way, coming in front of everyone, in the community.” Jesus makes Himself known in the community, and it is in the presence of the community that He shows the Apostles His wounds, “the proof of his love, the ever-open channels of His mercy.”
Pope Francis explained that we, like Thomas, are invited to “seek the Risen One” not in “some spectacular or amazing religious manifestation, only at the emotional or sensational level,” but within the community of believers, the Church. “Despite all its limitations and failures, which are our own limitations and failures, our Mother Church is the Body of Christ,” the Pope said. “And it is there, in the Body of Christ, that the greatest signs of His love can be found, impressed, now and forever.”
And he invited us to ask ourselves if, “in the name of this love, in the name of Jesus’s wounds, whether we are willing to open our arms to those who are wounded by life, excluding no one from God’s mercy, but welcoming everyone – each person like a brother, like a sister.”