Msgr. Owen Campion
The Sunday Gospel
April 15, 2023 // Perspective

Have Faith — Trust in the Lord

Msgr. Owen Campion
The Sunday Gospel

Second Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31

With deep faith and faith-filled excitement the Church continues the celebration, begun a week and a day ago at Easter, of the Lord’s resurrection and final victory over death and sin.

As is the case in almost every Mass of this season, the first reading this weekend comes from the Acts of the Apostles. Acts originally was seen as a continuation of St. Luke’s Gospel, and these books should be considered as being in sequence.

Together they tell an uninterrupted story of salvation in Jesus, from Mary’s conception to a time years after the Ascension.

This weekend’s reading reveals to us what life actually was in the time shortly following the Ascension. The first Christians, many of whom likely knew Jesus, reverently following the Apostles, were together in a most realistic sense of community, eagerly caring for the needy, praying, and “breaking the bread,” a term referring to the Eucharist in Early Christianity. Clearly, Peter was the chief of the Apostles. He was special.

Most importantly, through the Apostles, and in the Church, Jesus still lived and acted. The sick were cured. The deaf heard. The blind saw. No one was beyond the Apostles’ concern.

For its second reading this weekend, the Church offers us a passage from the First Epistle of Peter.

Obvious, and inspiring, in this reading is the first Christians’ intense love for, and faith in, the Lord. It was a faith that hardly went unchallenged. The culture in which Christianity was born and grew in almost every respect either rejected the ideals of the Gospel or held them in outright contempt.

Many of the first Christians died as martyrs, because they so steadfastly held to what Jesus had taught … St. Stephen and all but one of the Apostles themselves.

John’s Gospel provides the last reading. It is one of the beloved, and most familiar, of the Resurrection Narratives.

In this reading is the story of the reluctance of the Apostle Thomas to accept that Jesus indeed had risen from the tomb. Then, as all recall, dramatically Jesus appeared on the scene. He invited Thomas to believe. In awe, and the uttermost faith, Thomas declared that Jesus not only is his teacher, but indeed Jesus is God.

The Lord then conferred upon the Apostles that most divine of powers, the power to judge what is sinful and to forgive sin.


In two days, the people in Israel, and Jews everywhere, will remember the millions who died in Adolf Hitler’s savage persecution of Jews. For many years before the collapse of the Soviet system, it was the great celebration of Communism, a philosophy that also brought death and heartache to many millions.

Evil in the world has been, and still is, overwhelming. Violence and hatred in this country. Nicaragua. Ukraine. Blatant immorality.

These historic and current evils provide half of the picture of human existence. The other side of the picture shows how beautiful life is when the Risen Christ reigns and is acknowledged.

This weekend is Divine Mercy Sunday. In mercy, God sent the Lord Jesus to us. Christ redeemed us. He strengthens us. He shows us how to live. He leads us away from evil.

Christ’s victory over evil has been demonstrated so many times in history. He has never failed.

The Apostles and their successors brought Christ to their contemporaries, and they bring it still, connect us with Jesus, and with God. They still act through the Church, so vivid in Early Christianity.

As differences among themselves unsettle Catholics today, these readings tell us to gather around Peter and the Apostles. Be strong of faith. In the end, all will be good.

Trust in the Lord, as the martyrs trusted. His truth will prevail.

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.