or as the French say, “Merci”

15 Apr

On Easter Sunday night, when Jesus showed the disciples, minus Thomas, his hands and his side, it was an act of Divine Mercy. Jesus was helping them to believe. 

On the Sunday after Easter, which is today for us, when Jesus offered his hands and his side to Thomas, he was not reprimanding or scolding Thomas; he was not making an example of Thomas. It was an act of Divine Mercy. Jesus was helping Thomas to believe. 

See Thomas not as doubting, but as wanting to believe, and finding it hard to believe. 

You know how it can be, wanting to believe, longing to believe, and finding it hard to believe. You pray and pray and pray, but you do not see physical evidence that your prayers are heard. The situation is not fixed; there is no cure. You say things like, “My prayers are not working.” It doesn’t mean that you are doubting. You do believe. You just want to be able to believe more deeply. 

Thomas is not stomping his foot, in a “terrible two” moment. He is not being stubborn with an, “I will not believe, until I have the same religious experience that you had!” Rather, hear him sighing and longing, “I will not be able to believe, unless …” Thomas wants to believe, but finds it hard to believe. For a week, Thomas is in that horrible misery. The more the other disciples rejoice, the more his heart hurts. 

With his appearance to Thomas, with that show of hands and heart, Jesus is pleading with Thomas to believe, as much as Thomas was pleading to be able to believe. Jesus wants Thomas to believe, as much as Thomas wants to believe. 

On some rare occasions, yes, we do “see our way into believing.” We see glimpses of evidence of Divine Mercy. Most often, however, we “believe our way into seeing.” Without evidence, we hold on to our hope that somehow God is in here somewhere, that Divine Mercy “is” flowing upon us through the heart of Jesus. 

One of three prayers may seem appropriate today. Which one do you most earnestly pray? 

1.      Lord, have mercy on me! 

2.     Jesus, I trust in you.

3.     – or the French say – Merci (thank you) for your Mercies, O Lord.

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