Christians worldwide celebrated an Easter like no other. Our hearts are still filled with Easter joy! Easter is a reminder and encouragement that God in Christ continues to love and care for the whole world, overcoming death with life, conquering fear and uncertainty with hope. The Easter message also conveys that our God is a loving God, the source of life, not death. The Lord Himself has power to revive our courage and our faith.
No locked doors, nor even our current pandemic situation, can keep Him out. This weekend we continue to celebrate the victory of the Cross and Resurrection. Every year on the Sunday after Easter, the greatest celebration of faith, we encounter the gospel’s most famous story of doubt: the story of Thomas, who demands proof before he will believe. The risen Lord appeared to the apostles, who were gathered together in one place. The fact that they were gathered in one place is not without significance; for it is there that the Lord chose to appear to them. One of them, as we shall see, was not in the gathering and thus missed the blessing of seeing and experiencing the risen Lord. It might be said that Thomas, the absent apostle, missed His blessing.
Jesus is found in His Church, among those who have gathered. There is surely joy to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus, but the Lord also announced a special presence whenever two or three are gathered in His name. This Gospel has a lot to say to us about the benefit of gathering together to find the Lord’s blessing in the community of the Church, in His Word, and in the Sacraments. In every Mass, the Lord strengthens us. I am powerfully aware that every Mass I celebrate, is a source of powerful blessings for me. Not only does God instruct us with His Word and feed us with His Body and Blood, He also helps form us through the presence and participation of others.
This Sunday, we mark Divine Mercy Sunday, when we embrace the power and beauty of God’s forgiveness. It is the Sunday in which we are reminded of God’s tender mercies – when we strive, more than ever, to let Him break through the locked doors of our hearts. This Mercy Sunday means that there is a whole new moment in our lives. Risen from the dead, Jesus is now walking with us - just as He walked with those first apostles. And He is showing us the path of mercy, the path of compassion. Let us pray to be more open to God’s tender mercies that we might respond with the joy of Easter discovery, and with the wonder and conviction of St. Thomas: “My Lord and my God.”
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.