During the season of Easter, also known as the Great Fifty Days of Easter (“trumping” the Forty Days of Lent with the Resurrection), our Gospel lessons each Sunday are accounts of Jesus appearing to his disciples. Today (April 12) is sometimes known as “Thomas Sunday,” marking the Gospel story when Thomas does not believe that the others have seen Jesus in the flesh. A week later, then in the presence of Thomas, Jesus appears again and says, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side.” Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!"
Throughout the remainder of Easter season, leading up to Ascension Day (the fortieth day after Easter) and the Day of Pentecost (the 50th day), Jesus appears to the disciples with significant messages for them each time, which we all will recognize: “Peace be with you,” “I am the Good Shepherd,” “ I am the true vine,” “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” and “I am coming to you…so that the scripture might be fulfilled.” The Great Fifty Days ends with Jesus “breathing” the Holy Spirit upon them on Pentecost.