**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!**
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!