Jn. 20: 19-31
Today is the second Sunday of Easter, and the Church in joyful heart celebrates the Divine Mercy Sunday to continually spread the unfathomable mercy of God. We have known that this feast day came out in 2000 when Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina. Through St. Faustina, our Lord Jesus Christ has a message to the world of God’s Mercy. This day is a call for us to have more faith and trust in God through the Gospel of St. John in which Thomas had a hard faith to believe in Jesus.
The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus brings us to a new life. It’s accomplished and the Divine Mercy is revealed through this. Saint Thomas received the priceless gift to touch the marks of the nails in Jesus’ body and of the soldier’s lance in His side near His heart. Even though he doubted, Jesus didn’t get angry, or marginalized him, instead He forgave him. Once again His mercy was revealed to Thomas. God understood him much because He is love and rich in mercy. His mercy is more remarkable in the wounds of His body and His patience is far beyond ours. He allowed the disciples to see His wounds on the first day after the Sabbath. He came while the doors were locked. He gave peace to them and they were full of joy. Their joy was rooted in love and blossomed in freedom and sacrifice. Jesus’ blessing of “Peace be with you.” transformed them from afraid to trust and became the testimonies of the Divine Mercy.
In today’s Gospel it has two faces of faith, that is, “to see is to believe” and “to believe is to see.” Like St. Thomas, he will believe if he will see with his own eyes and wanted to hear with his own ears. This is the way of accreditation or acknowledgement of one thing. This is not the attitude of stubbornness of St. Thomas but on the contrary, it’s the attitude of incredulity and also the experience of living faith of many of us.
St. Thomas and the other disciples witnessed the resurrection and the wounded body of Christ and it led them to have more faith and trust in Him. In this understanding of faith, though doubting we grow more and mature in our faith. Doubting helps us not to judge in a very fast way, but to think and select clearly. In whatever situation, we are invited to believe, love and trust. Through St. Thomas, we would change our way of believing like our father Founder, once said “to believe is to see”. In this second face of faith, if we have love we are easy to believe without seeing (“happy are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” Jn. 20:29).
Through loving we can make the impossible become possible. Love begins love. We are invited to love God day by day like the first community of believers. With great power, they bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, for all of them were living in an exceptional time of grace. Let the Risen Jesus also gather us in His love, accept His peace with joy through the grace of the Holy Spirit to give a worthy witness to the Lord being a family of Carmelitas Misioneras Teresiana. And in this joy, peace has been always a sign of God’s presence. Though, human beings as we are, we have our own limitations and as a community of God’s disciples, is sure to go through trials and obstacles. Therefore, let’s us together walk in truth, peace, and love, sympathy and embrace the differences of one another. Like the invitation of Fr. Palau in his letter, “You have been chosen by God not to enjoy his company in solitude, but to open ways in the cloister to those who come and eventually through you by works of mercy”. (L. 99.5) Mercy is needed in our world; we need God’s loving mercy during this trying time. Every Christian is invited to have compassion, to become positive factor in testifying God’s love, especially His Divine Mercy. May the Lord continue to strengthen us to be His apostles of faith, hope, love and mercy.
Novices Houng, Thuy & NhiLucena community