Today, the first day of the week, the Risen Jesus appears to His disciples, breathing on them a peace that ignites within them a zeal to ‘go out’ into the world and proclaim a new way of living; a new way of loving with forgiveness and mercy.
The story of Thomas challenges us today in our commitment to this Gospel lived out in our families and in this parish. This challenge is not testing our belief that Jesus is risen, but that He shows us His wounds and asks us to touch them and through them ‘believe.’
It is in the touching of His wounds that we find this new life, this new way to be human, to be more Christ like. We touch the woundedness of Jesus through the wounds of our brothers and sisters. We allow them to touch our own wounds, which He Himself asks to touch. Through this action from God through us to others, changes hearts and heals even the deepest of human woundedness. We proclaim to others that our woundedness has lead us to them in order that they might come to believe in the Jesus we claim is living and healing among us.
Today, John XXIII and John Paul II have been declared saints. These two men of the 20th century have been men of faith, servants of God first and open to the movement of the Holy Spirit through their own suffering.
They reach out to us in their humility, their simplicity, and their active love for Jesus and through their belief in the dignity of each human person.
To these men and to us Jesus reveals His wounds. He asks us to seek them out in the world and touch them so that that He might heal. Without this holy touch from the heart of God, through our own heart to the hearts of the poor, the sick, the alienated and the stranger, our hearts would become shallow and our faith pointless.
If indeed we are to ‘go out’ into the world to proclaim that Jesus is truly risen from the dead, we have to be strong. We have not to hide our wounds and weaknesses but to reveal them. We have to acknowledge that the Gospel of Jesus, which we preach, is indeed a growing sign of contradiction in the world. For those who are blind the disciple of Christ is seen as devolved, ignorant, intolerant and hateful. For those who see however, the disciple of Jesus is loving, willing to forgive, compassionate and merciful!
We must go out with great confidence that Jesus, touching these wounds will walk with us to glory!
May the intercession of our new saints, Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Saint John Paul II bestow upon our hearts to willingness to receive and the boldness to share Divine Mercy. May our hearts be like theirs, humble, powerful, filled with zeal, and yet docile to the work of the Holy Spirit.
For our part, may we continue to praise God first above all things, eating this sacred meal together with “sincerity of heart;” “praising God…so that everyday the Lord adds to our numbers those who are being saved.”