We’re all tempted to think how lucky Thomas and the other apostles were to see and be able to touch Jesus after He had risen from the dead. What we need to bear in mind is that in our own parish community, we meet Him in His risen Body each week when we come together to celebrate the Mass.
The Church teaches that His Body and Blood are present, not only on the altar; but also in the community of the baptised gathered together. When we realise this, we can marvel at the wonders of the risen Body of Christ in our own parish.
He teaches us not to walk away from suffering, bur rather to see His presence in the midst of suffering. He invites me to touch His wounds. Like Thomas, we arrive at an adult faith thorough our doubts, uncertainties and questions. Lots of things can cause us to question or faith – suffering, injustice, evil, death. But they can also purify, refine and test our faith. Again, like Thomas, we grow in faith by touching the wounds of Christ – “By His wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
And we discover that my wounds and my resurrection flow from His wounds and His cross. Then, like Thomas, I can cry out:“My Lord and my God!”
Jesus has just died. His disciples are heartbroken. Two of them are walking away in despair from Jerusalem. Their lives too are completely broken.
We often feel as well that there’s nobody who understands us any more. Sometimes we even feel that our lives are empty and without purpose. We lose hope too.
But Jesus really is alive! When He approaches the two disciples and starts talking to them, they don’t recognise Him. Is this what’s wrong with us? … We should be able to see Jesus not only in the Eucharist, but in the people all around us as well !
To help them understand, Jesus reminds them of all the messages about Himself that the prophets had foretold over the centuries … how it was necessary for Him to suffer and die. Then, as evening draws on, they arrive at a small inn near the town of Emmaus. Jesus sits down with them at table, blesses some bread, breaks it and gives it to them.
Finally their eyes are opened and they recognise Him, just as He vanishes from their sight! You see, He is now present both in the bread and in their hearts.
The disciples return quickly to Jerusalem in spite of the dangers waiting for them there. They tell the other disciples, “We have seen Jesus! He truly is alive.”
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast instituted by Pope John Paul II, following the canonisation of St. Faustina Kowalska in the Jubilee Year of 2000.
It’s a special day of prayer, and it offers us the opportunity of extra- ordinary and unlimited graces. To receive those special graces, we need to:
- Place complete trust in God’s mercy;
- Repent all of our sins and go to confession;
- Celebrate God’s mercy by attending Mass today;
- Receive Holy Comunion while in a state of grace;
- Venerate the image of The Divine Mercy;
- Be merciful to others by actions, words, or prayers,
A plenary indulgence (complete freedom from all punishment due to sin) was granted by Pope John Paul II providing all these conditons are met.