The Disciples are cowering in an upper room. Fear has beset their hearts. Why? Perhaps, three reasons: the indifference of the world, the Jewish authorities are looking for them and finally they don’t understand and they doubt the message that the women who saw the empty tomb told them.
The world’s indifference: The days right after the crucifixion must have been eerie. The greatest event in history had just taken place. The disciples must have remembered all the prophecies, they might not have known how it was going to happen but they had to have known that something was going to happen. The world though continued as if nothing had happened. Everyone continued shopping, cooking, living… The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. This indifference surely contributed to the disciples’ doubts.
People are out to get them: Because they are disciples of Christ, there is something different about them. They have received His message, they want to follow in His footsteps. So, people are out to get them. Every time that we stand out or differentiate ourselves, people want to knock us down. It is first of all simply a human phenomenon. Nevertheless, this has been particularly true in the history of Christianity, we are built upon the blood of martyrs.
Doubt: Left to themselves they all begin to doubt. The disciples did not believe the women that were sent to proclaim the Good News, St. Thomas did not believe the disciples. They needed to see. They were shaken by all the events, they did not want to be naïve. There is something laudable in it, in the sense that they wanted to test everything. But scepticism can also starve out our faith.
So they proverbially lock themselves up in an ivory tower. The Lord breaks into this ivory tower, where they felt safe, and gives them peace and forgiveness. Jesus shared with them the Mercy He carries in His heart, by giving them His Spirit. It is only then that they will no longer be afraid.
This also can speak volumes about our families and how to live as a family. The indifference of the world and worldliness to truly living the Gospel, the people who often speak out specifically against Catholicism or be it the doubt in our own head, often leads us to do one of two things. Give up or hide. The families that hide in an ivory tower are at least wanting to live the Gospel, they have not given up. They are just too afraid to proclaim the Word.
Let us place our hands in His wounds, let us hope in His forgiveness, let us not be afraid. Let us make a new culture in our families. Let it not be based on fear but upon His Love and Mercy.