**Affiliate link is provided in the My Sunday Best portion of today’s post – it simply means by purchasing from that direct link provided, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon at NO COST to you!**
Today is the Feast of Mercy, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. It is, perhaps, my favorite Sunday of the year, for reasons I addressed this past Tuesday.
For the first time in a really long time, the children cooperated at Mass, which makes me suspect Jesus’ Mercy extended to me today, allowing me to spend some time truly reflecting on the Gospel message today.
Today, as we read about the encounter of Thomas, the apostle who doubted Christ’s Resurrection until he could physically place his fingers into Christ’s wounds, I was reminded of thoughts I began having earlier this week – even before I realized what today’s reading entailed.
I understand Thomas’ doubt.
It is tough to believe things we can’t see! Especially with answers on almost every subject available at a click of a button, it’s easy to doubt the existence of a higher power – of one man who gave His life, then rose from the dead, to save the rest of us! A culture of instant gratification leads us to be quick to forget our focus should be on eternity. This Nineveh 90 thing? Several times, I have distinctly thought (or prayed?) that, as I am engaging in these intense fasting and prayer practices, my faith is being tested. If I didn’t believe without seeing, I don’t think I would have the fortitude to continue giving up routine, purely-luxury, first-world comforts.
I am Thomas throughout periods of my life.
I don’t know how many times I have bargained with God during my life… “Dear God, if You would just…, then I will…” While not explicitly telling God, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John 20: 25), the second half of my statements still ring eerily similar to the statement of Thomas. After Peter, Thomas is my favorite apostle simply because he is so real in his human skepticism!
We all go through a “Thomas phase” in our lives.
One thing I am bracing for, as a mother, is the “Thomas phase” in my children’s lives. We all have a natural tendency to inquire, to doubt, to rationalize. We will all have a period where our faith is tested – and, we have a choice to choose a path which requires us to respond more like Peter, or a path which dares us to respond like Thomas. As a mother, I won’t be able to choose the path for my children; instead, I will hopefully lead them down the path of believing without seeing, giving them the strength, support, and encouragement to fully open themselves to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus extends His mercy to us, even in our Thomas moments.
Jesus didn’t condemn Thomas in the moment he doubted. Instead, He called Thomas on his disbelief, then called him over – to poke and prod His wounds! How amazingly merciful! Even in a moment where we would expect a mere human to just roll their eyes and say never mind, Christ instead shows His divinity – inviting His follower to not only remain a follower, but to, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt, but believe” (John 20:27). And, in true teaching fashion, Jesus also admonishes Thomas for his folly, reminding Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (John 20:29). What an AWE-some moment, which offers us a poignant reminder of Jesus’ Divine Mercy!
As I round out this week’s installment of My Sunday Best, I encourage my readers to ponder the rhetorical questions I am also contemplating in my own life:
- How can I model my compassion and mercy based off Christ’s example?
- What areas can I improve upon when it comes to being merciful?
- What impedes my ability to extend mercy – to my husband, to my children, to my family and friends, to strangers?
And, I encourage all of us to extend a little more Christ-like mercy in the days ahead!
14 thoughts on “Doubting Thomas in My Sunday Best”
I’m really thinking a lot about the moments when I could extend mercy towards my children these days – it’s hard to balance discipline and parenting philosophies with the need to be merciful… Definitely on my mind a lot these days!
It definitely is a balancing act! One thing I had a chaplain point out a couple years ago, though, is that justice is also a form of mercy. It put things into perspective, as it pertains to discipline!
My kids were actually well behaved too!! The baby slept the entire time which hasn’t happened since he was a newborn. I told my hubby how God was indeed merciful to us for Divine Mercy Sunday, ha. (Although we went to the vigil, but same thing!)
I chuckled at the idea that moms of littles find God’s Mercy in something as “small” as well behaved children at Mass! 😂😂 I’m thrilled you also had time to digest parts of Mass for this weekend’s celebration!
Hello ~ visiting from Rosie’s linkup!
I love your reflection. Thanks for sharing…
Thank you for stopping by! I look forward to checking out your Sunday Best!
Thanks for the encouragement!
I’m so glad it touched you! 🤗
Congratulations on winning that Cassie! It looks like a piece you can style multiple ways with clothes you already have in your closet. 🙂 (Plus, did you know you could wear it like a scarf?!?!)
Wouldn’t it be better if we *could* just see for ourselves? Yes and no. In thinking about it, seeing might make it easier, but not necessarily richer. Thanks for sharing!
As a mom I struggle with offering mercy to my kids appropriately. I want to teach them the lesson of There Are Consequences To Our Actions. But on the other hand, I want to model God’s merciful love–how it’s given even when we don’t deserve it. I don’t want my kids to skate by without an understanding about how their actions impact others and themselves, but I also don’t want to miss the opportunity to show them mercy.
I love that sentiment that it might be better in some aspect if we could see for ourselves, but then, it might not be better. Definitely a double-edged sword!
A couple years ago, a chaplain’s homily centered on justice and mercy – he emphasized that there is a “justice” component to mercy… that, serving justice is also a form of mercy. He pointed out the majority of us will go to Purgatory, if we are on our way to heaven. Purgatory is proof of God’s ability to service justice and mercy simultaneously – we must have our souls cleansed (justice) for our sins, but we are only there as a stopping point on the way to being fully embraced by God’s mercy, which kept us from hell. Just like parents, it is merciful to teach our children there are consequences to actions, because if we don’t do it, then someone else (in extreme cases, law enforcement) may have to teach them. I suspect that’s where the parenting theory of “choose your battles” comes into play. My son talk back to me – does it warrant taking away all his electronics, or would it warrant a scolding and explanation as to why he is being rude? He stomps his feet and gives me “angry face” – does it warrant a spanking, or a time-out so he can reflect on his poor choice? Choosing to err on the consequence based on teaching, rather than punishing would, I would assert, be more merciful!
Asking my son repeatedly to do something while he ignores me – does it warrant my getting angry and raising (dare I say, yelling?) my voice, or does it warrant me taking the time to put my frustration aside, and going over to get his attention, get on his level, and asking him calmly (for the umpteenth time)? (Heehee – one scenario I certainly struggle with!!)
But, it definitely is not always easy, and is definitely a balancing act!