April 11 – Second Sunday of Easter
Tradition has long characterized poor Thomas as “doubting Thomas.” But, Thomas should not be seen as the great paragon of doubt as tradition has characterized him. When told about the first appearance, Thomas is skeptical because he was not there and has not seen what the other apostles saw. All he wants is the same evidence that the other disciples already have. Jesus seems to have no problem in giving Thomas what he needs. Seeing the risen Lord is enough for Thomas. He does not touch the wounds of Jesus. Instead, he professes a profound faith in his Lord and his God. The Lord gives us what we need that we might believe in him. And what might that be? What do you need to believe in Jesus?
If you need something to believe in Jesus, I suggest it is what the Church celebrates today – Divine Mercy! The devotion of Divine Mercy is associated with the apparitions of Jesus to Saint Faustine Kowalska. The primary focus of the Divine Mercy devotion is the merciful love of God and the desire to let that love and mercy flow through one’s own hear toward those in need of it. Jesus showed mercy toward Thomas by granting Thomas what he needed to believe. Thomas didn’t deserve mercy – he didn’t believe the witness of his brother apostles. But that’s the point, mercy is never deserved. Mercy always flows from a heart of compassion. In celebrating Divine Mercy, we pray for a compassionate heart like that of Jesus. In receiving the sacrament of reconciliation, we experience the mercy of Jesus poured out on us, so that we can pour out His mercy on others. Let us celebrate the Divine Mercy each of us have received from God throughout our life, and be quick to offer mercy to anyone who offends or hurts us!
Have a blessed Easter Season!