Reflection for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 24, 2022

April 19, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Have you watched the quiz show Jeopardy? Have you noticed the expressions of the contestants when they get, what seems like an obvious question wrong? You can almost feel them wanting another chance to give the correct answer. Growing up, I used to hear my Godmother say, “Don’t be a Doubting Thomas.” I had no idea what that meant, or where the expression came from. Well, in today’s Gospel, Thomas doubts that the Lord is truly risen. Not only is his Lord truly risen, but He will give Thomas another chance to believe.

Earlier in John’s Gospel, as Jesus prepared to return to Judea, to raise His friend Lazarus from the dead, His disciples warned Him of the Jews’ intention to kill Him. Thomas did not doubt what Jesus could do, and was full of confidence when he said, “Let us also go to die with him.” Yet today Thomas is away when our Lord first appears to the other Apostles.

Thomas’ confidence seems rooted in what he knows, what he has seen. Thomas is full of false confidence, and lacking faith, because he doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead, when his fellow Apostles told him that Jesus had appeared to them. Thomas doubted his faith, because he had not seen Jesus, himself. “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.”

When Jesus appeared to the Apostles again, He brought His lost sheep, Thomas back to His flock when He said, “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.” Thomas again believed saying, “My Lord and my God!”

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday and Jesus calls us not to be like “Doubting Thomas.” If we believe in the miracles He did in the Scriptures, then we should believe in the mercy of His miracles (big & small) that He performs in our lives every day. When we have doubt, Jesus says to us, do not be unbelieving, but believe in my Divine Mercy. We take advantage of His Divine Mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we leave that Sacrament, we believe that we have received God’s mercy.

Divine Mercy Sunday reminds us that God not only wants us to receive His mercy, but to also show mercy to others. In fact, we must forgive others for us to be forgiven! Jesus taught us that in The Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Let us always be willing to forgive, as God is always willing to forgive us.

– Bishop Roy Campbell

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