Apr 23, 2022

Touching Mercy


A week has passed since the first disciples found out the news about Jesus having risen from the dead. Some of the disciples had even claimed to others that they had seen him, spoken with the Lord and that he was as real, if not more than he had been while he walked the roads of the Holy Land with them. It was indeed incredible news. But was it believable? For some, yes it was. For others, they first demanded hard evidence.

And as if to make this point through an example, we are told today about Thomas, who was called “the doubter”. It seems that he was determined to keep the door of his heart securely closed. Even the talk of Christ’s resurrection could not unhinge him. It took Christ himself to do so. But before Thomas could experience the reality of Christ's, he first had to reach out and touch Christ’s wounds – he had to join his own suffering, his hurt, his pain to Christ’s - not to experience the agony of crucifixion, but the tenderness of reconciliation and peace that the cross of Christ accomplished.

It is no accident that this Sunday we call Divine Mercy Sunday. The image of Divine Mercy, is not a vision, a picture or a painting. It is the resurrected Christ himself, body and soul.  With the assurance that our sins have been forgiven through the wounds of Christ now raised from the dead, an opening, a channel of powerful grace can now flood into our lives with those words of “peace be with you”.

When Christ stood before him, Thomas responded, "My Lord and my God". In those simple words, he was saying "Jesus, I trust in you".

All of us must do likewise. If we don’t, then we are only forensic scientists looking at Christ's wounds and taking notes.  No. Christ’s wounds are the tell-tale signs of divine love and sacrifice for you and me.  Christ's wounds, communicate not the horror of crucifixion, but the beauty of the resurrection - the depths of His love that knows no limit.  

Resurrected from death by crucifixion, does Christ continue to suffer? His only suffering now is when we are afraid of His wounds, afraid to reach out and touch Him.

And maybe that’s why an image of divine love we often see is a heart radiating fire - It takes courage to put one's hand into a divine fire, but it takes faith to do so knowing that you will not be burnt. Courage and faith.  Christ beckons us to have faith and be courageous. 

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will en-"courage" us to approach the man who was crucified and to allow ourselves to be filled with wonder and awe that He is resurrected, fully alive and offering us forgiveness from our sins and peace for our lives.

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