Merci beaucoup, as the French would say. Divine mercy Sunday, doubting Thomas Sunday; a Sunday with two names.
Let’s start with Thomas’s doubts, his question’s, his refusal to believe. “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Was that for his lack of faith in Christ, or was it because of the immense amount of faith he had placed in the Lord? Per opinion I suspect it was the latter. I can also venture a guess that he refused to diminish Christ’s legacy, so strong was his hope in Christ’s promise. He could not rely on hearsay. His doubt was a demand for truth , it also could be considered a defense. A legal court argument, so it seems to me. A refusal to face the realities of the crucifixion. Is that possible, might it be human? Thomas is a real person, with human emotions. Thomas is not that different from any man today. An emotional reaction? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed Some also say that Thomas’s doubt was precisely for our benefit. Some say Jesus revealed Himself while Thomas was absent so that he would express a human response and demand a proof of the resurrected Christ. Blessed are those that do not see yet believe, Thomas’s argument helps us do exactly that.
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.”
Think a little deeper about the doubt of Thomas, think of it in terms of Christ’s mercy. Divine mercy. If Thomas has doubt , look at it from another point of view. Look at his doubt from the viewpoint of someone who was scourged, and mocked, and tortured for someone like Thomas. Look at Thomas from the viewpoint of a person who was shown no mercy. Did mankind show Christ mercy? Did mankind respond to Christ with mercy, did Christ respond with the same brutality he received? Christ’s response to Thomas is in virtuous understanding, He wishes that Thomas believes. Jesus Christ gives Thomas the benefit of the doubt. Forgiveness? Jesus sees Thomas as good. Think to the story of creation please. He extends His wounds as a merciful response to Thomas’s doubt. That mercy is extended after three days in the grave. That mercy is extended after descending into the depths of hell. One can ask how much more God must do beyond hanging on a tree to prove His love and mercy for man? The answer is He extends his wounds mercifully so that we might believe . That is mercy, endless mercy, divine mercy. God extends his mercy even before receiving a merci beaucoup, a thank you. Gods mercy is not dependent on our actions, it is freely extended despite our doubt, shortcomings and human frailties. It is endless and selfless, it is eternal. That is divine mercy. Merci