Good afternoon to you all!

I’m a happy little bunny this morning because the gyms are open and off I went like an excited child on his first day at school.

With divine mercy Sunday over we are now left with putting the messages and the graces that we received into practice. A bit like going to the gym, easier said than done and sometimes that requires dedication, perseverance and hard work!

Yesterday we had doubting Thomas in the gospel and during the week we had the resurrection when the disciples refused to believe the testimony of Mary Magdalene.

It was interesting to see that Jesus was disappointed on both accounts at the stubbornness and incredulity of his disciples and also that He didn’t hide it from them!

It makes us ask the question if we are guilty at times too of refusing to believe.

Now we might be thinking that this isn’t relevant to us because Jesus isn’t appearing to us and we believe…..but let’s look a little closer!

Jesus appears in our lives every day in different ways. It might be through a book that we are reading or a conversation with a friend or something the priest said at mass. It might be through a word of knowledge, a prophetic dream or simply from a guilty conscience….

The question for us is, are we listening or are we refusing to believe?

We can refuse to believe and listen to Jesus in lots of ways.

We can refuse to go to confession or mass, we can refuse to pray or examine our consciences. We can refuse to apologise to someone that we’ve hurt, we can refuse to reach out to someone that we could help.

We can refuse to get involved in a situation of injustice, we can refuse to talk about our faith or Jesus. We can refuse to believe in the supernatural or healing ministry despite countless testimonies and occurrences all over the world.

In summary, we can refuse to change and as Frank Senatra put it “I did it my way!”

These are all serious omissions and sins against God and the community and we cannot just absolve ourselves in the name of ‘me, myself and I’ (the unbeliever’s trinity).

Following Jesus is not easy but ignoring Him and making up our own rules will get us nowhere!

The gospel is not easy and that’s why we need to both listen to Jesus and to pray.

We must listen in order to get direction and we must pray in order to get the power to put what we heard into action!

The good news of course is that Jesus is forgiving and while He scolded the apostles, He forgave them and they learnt their lesson!

Yes, forgiveness means change, if there is no change or sign of change then there was no love or contrition to start with.

After this Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on the disciples and they became fearless witnesses of Jesus and the gospel.

And so today our challenge is to keep listening to Jesus and to keep changing our ways. To quote Cardinal Newman:

So let’s keep on going, let’s keep on listening, let’s keep on changing and let’s keep on being witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ in today’s world.

Michael