March 30,2008 2nd Easter Year A

Scriptures: John 20:19-31

Today is called 'Divine Mercy Sunday'. But, what is this Divine Mercy? I finds words in the style of a dictionary description not very helpful! But when I see the concrete examples of the mercy of Jesus, then I start to understand. By seeing the love that Jesus had for people we see the divine mercy. Mercy is a translation of the Hebrew word 'chesed'. It has been translated as love, covenant love, mercy, compassion, loving-kindness etc. Again, let us look at examples of Jesus' merciful love in the scenes after His Resurrection. Jesus met the weeping Mary of Magdala and gently called her name "Mary". Jesus gently consoled and taught the two down-hearted disciples returning to their home village, Emmaus. Jesus so thoughtfully ate a slice of fried fish to assure the disciples he was not a ghost. Jesus did not scold Peter for denying that he was a follower of Jesus, but instead asked: "Peter do you love me?" And in today's Gospel we see the apostle Thomas who said he just could not believe that Jesus was alive.
He meets the resurrected Jesus. Jesus understood Thomas's doubts; he did not scold him, he showed compassion, mercy and understanding. The Jesus of the Gospels who is so gentle and kind, is alive today and lives with us. We can meet the same Jesus in phrayer, in the Scriptures, in the community and in the Eucharist. He is divine mercy in a human heart.
Doubts of faith are a part of life. The English Cardinal Newman said: "Faith without doubt is dead". He means that these very doubts cause us to ponder on the meaning of our faith and so strengthen it. Thomas and the kind way Jesus greeted him gives all of us hope. Jesus, full of mercy, says today to each of us. "Come to me all you who are tired and weighed down with stress, I will refresh you". Let us taste his mercy.