This reflection is adapted from an Easter reflection from our online Holy Week Retreat.

Just a little over a week ago, when he was told the incredible news that the disciples had seen the Lord, Thomas did not hesitate to set his conditions for believing: “Unless I see and touch his wounds,
I will not believe.”

The Incredulity of Thomas (Guercino)


The following reflection is based on John 21:1-19.

In our Gospel story today, Jesus does something extraordinarily ordinary: He cooks!

I had never done any cooking in my life until a few years ago when I was studying in London. My new Superior then told me in no uncertain terms that I should, like every member of our community, take my turn to do the cooking for Sunday dinner.

When I protested that I could only scramble eggs, he dismissed my concern with a wave of his hand. When I suggested ordering pizza, he just walked away.



This homily is based on John 20:19-31.


It’s a well-known story. Thomas misses out on Jesus’ debut appearance to the disciples and hears them make the far-fetched claim that they “have seen the Lord!” It’s not the first time such a claim has been made: There are the women, those early Sunday morning visitors at the tomb probably with still too much tears and sleep in their eyes, and that couple back from Emmaus with tales of mysterious strangers and holy fire in their hearts!



This Easter homily is based on John 20:1-9.

What is remarkable about this Gospel story is the emotion that the women experienced as a result of their discovery of the empty tomb: Fear.

I wasn’t expecting that.

We are told that the women were so afraid they said nothing to anyone– exactly the opposite of what the angels had requested them to do. Of course we know that they eventually overcame their fear and disclosed their discovery to the other disciples.

Easter is supposed to bring joy, but isn’t it funny that the initial reaction of the women was fear?

There is something about us that is reluctant–if not suspicious–about good news. It’s almost as if we are more accustomed
to fear and sadness than to joy. We often end up doing what the women did after their encounter with the angel: We flee from good news!

The poet Hafez has written a beautiful line that is worth thinking and praying about:


It’s hard to believe what the poet is telling us: that happiness has been pursuing us. It’s astonishing!

Too often it doesn’t feel that way at all! Happiness seems all too elusive.

But this brings us to one important truth: Happiness is a choice,
a decision we have to make, but too often we fail to make that decision.

Imagine Happiness running down the streets in pursuit of you,
as the poet Hafez says. Why would we be running away
from Happiness? Could we be pursuing something else that we are mistaking for Happiness?

Or, is there anything in our life that is keeping us from dropping
our fear, our anger, our sadness–or whatever else is getting in the way of joy.

What would we lose if we made the choice today–right here and right now–to leave all that behind and to be happy?

Let’s think about that. And if you can, do something about it.

This Easter, make the decision  to let Happiness find you.



This reflection is based on Luke 24:35-48.

From all indication, what we have today is a happy reunion of sorts: The disciples, disheartened and even traumatized by the horrible crucifixion and death of their Master, suddenly find him once again in their midst. To prove that he’s no ghost, the Risen Lord shows them the wounds in his hands and feet, and even takes a little midnight snack before their very eyes (It must have been around midnight, the two disciples having interrupted their supper and hurried back from Emmaus).


It’s Jesus’ way of telling his disciples: “It is I! I am real! And I’m back!”