St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

Imagine you’re outside at night. Further imagine you see a bright light moving at a speed faster than anything you’ve ever seen. It zigzags across the sky, coming closer and then farther away. Suddenly it stops still right in front of you. And then in a flash, it’s gone. You run to tell the people in the house. What is their reaction?

Now imagine you are one of those huddled in the upper room. Suddenly Jesus appears. Thomas isn’t there to behold this marvelous sight and the peace and forgiveness He brought. But when Thomas returns, you excitedly tell him. What is his reaction?

You keep trying to convince him. You say that you were not hallucinating. Jesus was really here. It wasn’t a ghost. But Thomas says, “Well, how did he get in here? I had to say the password before you opened the door for me.” You reply, “He just appeared, walking through the door or the walls or somehow.” And Thomas looks at you as if you were crazy or had too much wine.  You ask the others to back you up, and they do. But Thomas still isn’t convinced. Can you blame him? Imagine his reaction: A dead person is alive after three days in a tomb, getting in the room although it was secure with locked doors, talking to you, showing his wounds to you, and breathing on you, saying that now you have the power to forgive or retain sins like God.  Really? Get real! “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I WILL NOT BELIEVE!”1

Can you imagine the tension and frustration in that room? On one side are people convinced they had seen the crucified Lord now risen; and, sitting in a corner all alone, is one who couldn’t or wouldn’t be swayed by anything you or they said? Why wouldn’t he trust you to tell you truth after all you’ve been through?

Of course Jesus returns and Thomas believes (though we aren’t told that he actually touched the wounds), making a spontaneous profession of faith in his Lord and God, the first to call Him that.

“Blessed are those who have not and have believed.”2  --- all of us.

1 John 20:25
2 John 20:29

LENT: Fasting and Abstinence

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
FASTING means to refrain from eating food between meals and to eat only one full meal with the other two being lighter meals. It is required of those who are age 18 to 59. Liquids are permitted between meals.
ABSTINENCE means to refrain from eating meat. It is required of those 14 years of age and older.

DO YOU PLAN TO FAST THIS LENTEN SEASON?

When pondering what to give up this year, consider Pope Francis’ suggestions to observe this Lent:

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

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