we are constantly relearning lessons of faith. today’s gospel helps renew us through the power of the resurrection; the Spirit touches our hearts on “divine mercy sunday”.
the sequence of the story gives us the effects of resurrection: jesus coming to us despite “locked doors”; healing our fear; the gift of peace. being sent to be people of forgiveness; a conversion of our doubt into wonder and awe; a new relationship with God which leads to living well. this is the abundance life that jesus gives us as gift in john 10: 10.
jesus says “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”. i have always liked the interpretation of belief as “giving one’s heart to”. to believe is more a function of the heart than the intellect (although they both are interconnected).
we live in this crisis of the coronavirus, covid19 and huge changes in our lives that will help insure our safety and the good of others. through it all, jesus breaks through our locked doors. our hearts are filled with the peace that only jesus can give. we are sent to share this healing grace through forgiveness at all levels. a conversion of doubt into faith; our resolve to love is stronger because of these gifts; we experience life in abundance.
even in this crisis and cross, we experience resurrection!
perhaps a re-reading of john 20: 19-31 can give us extra graces:
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.