2nd Sunday of Easter – Diving Mercy Sunday
11th April 2021
Year B – Psalter week 2
When we listen to our Gospel today it is easy to assume that, of all the apostles, it is only poor Thomas who seemed to doubt that Jesus has risen and was now amongst them.
But, this would have been a very challenging and confusing time for all of Jesus followers. In fact, there were many instances of disbelief, or of people simply not recognising the risen Jesus when they saw him, this included the women coming from the empty tomb who were met by the disciples, or the disciples on the road to Emmaus who walked and talked with Jesus for many hours, not knowing who he really was. They finally recognised that they were in Jesus’ presence, when they felt him in their hearts at the breaking of bread.
For the Apostles, and the hundreds of people who saw the risen Lord, their belief in him and his resurrection did not simply occur because they saw him, and because he was actually with them no, it was because of how he made them feel, and how he helped them to understand the real meaning of the resurrection.
What was important then, just as it is today, is how Jesus makes his presence known in the lives of those willing to try to know him and to listen to him. He wants to accompany us on our journey in life, to be with us to help and support us. He wants us to talk to him and involve him in all aspects of our lives. He want us to know him, not just know about him.
If we look around ourselves, we can see Jesus through others who help us – or through those who Jesus shows us are in need, and how he shows us how we may help others.
We can also see and know him through his love and mercy, especially on this Divine Mercy Sunday, through the gift of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments, and through his very real presence in Holy Communion. We do not need to see Jesus with our eyes to know him, what we need is to experience him in our lives and the lives of others, and our closeness to him should be measured by how we let him influence all our words, our deeds and our actions.
So, what was it that Thomas doubted, why did he question if Jesus had appeared to them? – He may have had a difficult time understanding how and why Jesus had suffered and died, but Jesus had spoken to the Apostles many times about how he would suffer and rise again. Thomas had seen first-hand, Jesus perform many extraordinary miracles of healing, casing our evil and raising people from the dead.
So, to hear that Jesus had risen from the dead, and then by recalling Jesus’s teachings to him, Thomas would have started to understand and believe.
But, his real doubt was in relation to himself – how, and why, would the crucified and Risen Christ really forgive him, and even the other Apostles, for abandoning him and not trusting him and for only thinking of themselves.
Thomas’ doubted that the triumphant Lord had returned to be with them to share his love and forgiveness for them, after the way they had acted.
Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did, and he did it because it was such an important part of mission.
His death and resurrection had broken the power of evil over sin and death for us all, and at that point you could imagine that his work was accomplished, and that he could have simply ascended to be with His Father.
But the reason he died and rose again, was because of his great love, mercy, and forgiveness for us all; which he wants us all to know and understand, and to place our trust in, and to share with others.
Today, we also celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday when the church is especially called to make God’s love and mercy known to the world, so that the world may more fully receive God’s healing grace.
So, not just on Divine Mercy Sunday, but always, let us never doubt like Thomas, God’s unimaginable love, but fully believe that he is all loving, all patient, all forgiving and all merciful.
For we have a God who teaches repentance and practices leniency, who is patient and completely merciful, who is not looking for saints, but rather to transform the lives of sinners and those in need.
The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end
1 John 5:1-6
Eight days later, Jesus came again and stood among them
Sunday Message and Look
Download this weeks Sunday Message and Look (for our younger parishioners) by clicking on the images, for all the readings for this week, as well as the prayers during mass and the usual weekly thoughts and reflections.
Jesus said: ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’ Alleluia!