It strikes me as odd that I need to be reminded that I have a Reminders app on my phone. I use it sparingly but when I do it can be extremely helpful in my busy and often distracted life. Siri hears me and repeats my message to ensure that she got it right and then she promises to remind me. Then at the appointed time, up pops my reminder. In this week's Gospel we hear about the most important "reminder" of all time.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. John 20:19-31
Many thoughts surely swirled through the minds of the disciples as they hid in fear. "This isn't what we expected to happen." "What now?" Then Jesus appeared. When He does greet the disciples, Jesus actually repeated Himself. "Peace be with you." Jesus states before and after showing the disciples His wounds. In the midst of their joy in Jesus' resurrection, the disciples are reminded of His death. The nail marks and the wound in Jesus' side remain on His resurrected body. They remind the disciples of the reason Jesus came in the first place.
Because we look back on Jesus' life, death and resurrection we have the advantage of seeing the big picture. We see God's story of creation, the fall in the garden along with the struggles of the Israelites to remain true to God prior to Jesus' coming. Most importantly, we see salvation through His cross. In all of this, we see God's purposes. Therein lies the Greatest Reminder...
"...that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name."