The Gospel today (S. John 20:28) enthrones S. Thomas’ thundering confession. From despair to hope, from doubt to belief, from turmoil to rest. Rest in the Divine Mercy of God. It’s a comforting story passed on through the generations. A story that is very easy to comprehend all these years later. We too learn to find hope in despair. We too can move from doubt to belief. We too can rest in the Divine Mercy of God. You see S. Thomas entered that room fighting. He was not willing to give up what he thought could only be rational. He had heard the stories that were beginning to circulate about the Lord having risen from the dead. Even his fellows seemed to have taken leave of their senses. But he was a rational man. If anything was to be salvaged from the wreckage of the last three years it could only be done by level headed thinking. The whispers and tales that passed through the city that day could only do them harm. And that’s the state of mind that he entered that room on the day which would see him surrendering to the mercy of God.
It was physical evidence that got him in the end. Plain hard facts that he could touch and see which made the walls of doubt crumble down. For some reason Thomas was absent from the first appearances of the risen Lord. Yet eight days later he was amongst his fellows again. Possibly trying to ‘put pay’ to what he could not reconcile to his own rationality. God can use our weaknesses. It was S. Thomas’ rational observation, it was the obvious physical wounds of Jesus, there right in front of him, which brought him to his knees. "My Lord and My God" (Dominus meus, et Deus meus.) a cry that now rings through history. A cry that now challenges us to join in.
And what does joining in this great acclamation demand of us? Well it is really quite simple, as simple as ABC. When we cry "My Lord and My God" we (A) Ask for his mercy. When we cry "My Lord and My God" we are reminded that we, too, should (B) Be merciful. Finally when we cry "My Lord and My God" we begin to (C) Completely trust in Jesus. Our doubts, like those of S. Thomas become servants not masters. That Great act of mercy on the part of a Creator was not some symbol, it was not a divine discourse amongst the gods. It is not some ancient legend. Rather it has physical evidence in the wounds that had once rushed forth blood and water for the salvation of the world.
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face;
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace the human dress.
William Blake (1757-1827)