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Notes from Fr. Vitalis

Do Not Be Unbelieving, But Believe

Dear Parishioners,

For the next few weeks, our scripture readings will focus on post resurrection stories and the activities of the apostles as they embark on a mission of establishing the early church. I feel so comforted with the words of Jesus to his frightened disciples. He never condemned them for being weak, or for their betrayal and abandonment. Nothing could keep the Lord away from his disciples. Fears, doubts, locked and bolted doors did not stop the Lord on that Easter evening. He erased Thomas’ doubt by drawing him to touch his wounds.

The risen Christ shares with them his spirit and offers them a gift of peace and power to forgive sin. Why would he grant them such power on the very evening of resurrection? He must have been thinking about us too. It was not just to convince the apostles and Thomas, but about all of us who would come later. This personal encounter was fundamental to our faith. It teaches us so much about our relationship with the risen Lord and what he expects from us.

We have so much to learn from this beautiful encounter with Thomas, who doubted the Lord’s resurrection and appearance.  His refusal to believe, even when others gave testimony, in many ways helps our modern mind to understand the truthfulness of the resurrection. It was not a myth or fable, rather a reality that defies our comprehension. Resurrection marks a new era in human history. It opens the door of salvation. It completes the work of redemption and makes us sharers in the everlasting life. 

It is not enough to be a believer; all believers have solemn obligation to make the risen Christ known. When Thomas came face to face with the risen Christ he prostrated to ground in a humble adoration with sweet profession of faith: “My Lord and my God!” That was the moment he believed. When did you believe? When is your moment of encounter?

I often think of those who do not believe. I think of those who pick and choose which article of faith to accept or reject. I think of the Church’s missionary work and many hostilities she faces at all side even among her own flock. I think of those who made themselves the sole judge of their faith; taking only what they chose to believe. For such people I pray that the words of the risen Christ will speak to them. “Do not be unbelieving but believe.” 

We are in the age of new evangelization, planting seeds of faith and nurturing pastoral care goes together. There are so many people who no longer practice their faith. There are some Catholics who seems to have reached a plateau where growth in faith has stopped. The risen Christ invites all to deepen our faith; in many cases it means re-evangelizing. Our parish community should be a vibrant center of spiritual formation and evangelization. It is the Lord who leads and   invigorates us. We cannot inspire ourselves; that is the reason why he shares his spirit with us.

He will open our minds to understand the Scriptures. He leads us to see how God’s plan is revealed, bit by bit in the Scriptures. Jesus is the face of God. Every creature obeys him and so should you. He makes our mission fruitful. Our mission is to bear witness that the Messiah, who died on the cross and then was buried in a tomb, is really alive.  “In his name, penance for the remission of sins is to be preached to all the nations.”


In His Mercy, I Am Sincerely Yours In Christ,

Fr. Vitalis Anyanike