Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”
But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”
Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.
as we enter Holy week turn our hearts again to Jerusalem, and to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Stir up within us the gift of faith that we may not only praise him with our lips, but may follow him in the way of the cross.
I feel truly privileged to be able to write a reflection for the readings of Divine Mercy Sunday. This was a devotion I had come across years ago, ignored it for a long time, and then came back to it.
Why does it appeal to me and so many others across the globe? Mercy. That is it, pure and simple – mercy. We are all in need of a little mercy in our day to day lives and we surely need to show it. ‘ If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven’, and this is especially true when we feel completely unmerciful towards someone who has hurt us.
Mercy, after all, is the very heart of God and is very much the heart of the Gospel message. Christ eats with the sinners because He has brought them the mercy of God so that they can repent and turn back to God. Jesus told St Faustina, ‘Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.’ There is mercy in all its fullness!
Just look around you and you will see the vast areas in which mercy is needed. Look a little closer, and you may find someone in your own life who needs their prison cell unlocked with the key of your mercy.
Andrew Ebrahim - Salesian Priest