Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mercy is a good thing, for it leads men to perfection

"Divine Mercy is the light for the way forward for the people of the third millennium."- Pope John Paul 2

Gospel text (Jn 20,19-31):
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.

If we are honest with ourselves, we may admit that we're like doubting Thomas. Most of us also doubt. We must admit it and be delivered from doubt because it ruins everything. For example, if you have the slightest doubt your spouse is not faithful to you, that doubt can ruin your marriage. If doubt casts its shadow over your prayer, even Mass and Holy Communion will be something "to get over with." Doubt is a killer. We must deal with it before it ruins us.

In our world today, beliefs are expected to be based on proof. If one can’t prove something beyond a doubt to be true, then we cannot accept it as fact. We can seem ignorant or stupid if we believe something to be true through blind faith. So what Thomas does in the Gospel today doesn’t seem unfamiliar to us; to want to see something with our own eyes before we believe it to be true has been engrained in us.

And yet, to have faith in God and in other people is what God is calling us to do. We aren’t going to be able to reach out and put our hand into Jesus’ side to know he is truly alive again. We are going to have to rely on what others tell us and what God reveals to us. We may not feel that he’s always there, but he never leaves our side. He watches out for us and cares for us, and his love never ceases. This fact is hard to believe sometimes in a world where anything not based on scientific fact is thought to be fiction. I need to remember that deep in my heart lies something more powerful than anything that can be proven in this life. Sometimes, we don’t need all the answers.

All we need is our faith in God.

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