My Lord and my God! (John 20:28)
(From a homily by Pope Francis for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013)
In today’s Gospel, the apostle Thomas personally experiences the mercy of God, which has a concrete face, the face of Jesus, the risen Jesus. Thomas does not believe it when the other apostles tell him, ‘We have seen the Lord’ (John 20:25). It isn’t enough for him that Jesus had foretold it. . . . . He wants to see; he wants to put his hand in the place of the nails and in Jesus’ side.
And how does Jesus react? With patience: Jesus does not abandon Thom-as in his stubborn unbelief; he gives him a week’s time, he does not close the door, he waits. And Thomas acknowledges his own poverty, his little faith.
“My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). With this simple yet faith-filled invocation, he responds to Jesus’ patience. He lets himself be enveloped by divine mercy; he sees it before his eyes, in the wounds of Christ’s hands and feet and in his open side, and he discovers trust: he is a new man, no longer an unbeliever, but a believer. . . .
“Maybe someone among us here is thinking: my sin is so great, I am as far from God as the younger son in the parable, my unbelief is like that of Thomas; I don’t have the courage to go back, to believe that God can wel-come me and that he is waiting for me, of all people. But God is indeed waiting for you; he asks of you only the courage to go to him. . . .
“Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves to be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his wonderful tenderness, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, for-giveness and love.”
“My Lord and my God! Thank you for your unending mercy!”
(Lenten Edition - The Word Among Us)