John 20: 19-31
Walking through walls! Can you do that? No! Pretty unbelievable, no? Sometimes we believe and sometimes we doubt. We all have a Thomas in us. Didymus means twin (John 11:16). We all have a double in us that does not believe. This extends to miracles. Is Thomas an empiricist, a new age scientist before his time, one who believes only in the material world? No, I don’t think so.
I think Thomas was heartbroken; closed in on himself; discouraged as was Mary Magdalene, as were the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Christ walks into our broken places. To us, too, the Risen Christ says, “put your finger here and see my hands… see my side…and believe.” He says this to encourage Thomas; he was lost after his loss of Jesus. So was Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene, Pope Francis said had to “confront the loss of all her hopes” in not finding Jesus, and for this reason she wept. “All of us have felt joy, sadness and sorrow in our lives,” but “have we wept during the darkest moment? Have we had that gift of tears that prepare the eyes to look, to see the Lord?” the Pope asked. Weeping, Pope Francis explained, “prepares us to see Jesus.” Why? It creates openness in us. It is the fissure through the risen Jesus can walk – like into that locked room. We are acknowledging our loss and our need for God. And God’s Mercy.
Christ is telling us, like Thomas, to find him in our own experience: in our losses, in our griefs, in our joys, in the ordinary events of our lives. We must be alert to Christ’s appearances to us. We must remember, too, that Christ’s Mercy is always available to us. Pope Francis has reminded us that Christ never tires of forgiving us! With Christ’s tireless Mercy, we believe – on this Mercy Sunday — and we go forward to others ‘announcing the Gospel of the Lord,’ as the early disciples and apostles did.