2nd Sunday of Easter 2023
Every year on the Second Sunday of Easter, we read this account of the Risen Jesus appearing to the disciples in the locked Upper Room. For some reason, Thomas is not with them, and he later demands proof that they saw the Risen Jesus. 'Unless I can put my hands in his wounds, I will not believe!' he proclaims.
It's interesting that John points out that Thomas was also called Didymus, which means 'twin.' Scholars have debated for centuries whether Thomas actually had a twin brother, or whether the name was symbolic of his doubting nature.
Regardless, I think there's another way to interpret the name 'Didymus' that is relevant to all of us.
Perhaps John meant to suggest that we are all Thomas's twin at some point in our lives. We all look like Thomas - we have moments of doubt and uncertainty in our faith journey, just as Thomas did. We may question the reality of the resurrection, or the power of God's love to overcome the challenges of this world.
But the good news is that, like Thomas, we too can encounter the Risen Christ and find the answers we seek. We too can put our hands in his wounds and experience the reality of his love and mercy. We can do this in many ways.
We can put our hands in the wounds of Christ by spending time in prayer, by opening our hearts to the Word of God.
We can put our hands in the wounds of Christ by participating in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, where we encounter the real presence of Christ.
We can put our hands in the wounds of Christ by reaching out to those who are suffering, by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned, as Jesus commands us in the Gospel.
Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday, a day when we reflect on God's infinite love and mercy. In the Gospel reading today the Risen Christ greeted his disciples with the words, 'Peace be with you,' and he showed them the wounds in his hands and side. In doing so, he revealed to them the depth of his love and the extent of his sacrifice.
We can put our hands in the wounds of Christ by forgiving those who have wronged us, by letting go of bitterness and resentment, and by seeking reconciliation with our brothers and sisters. We can put our hands in the wounds of Christ by being a source of love and mercy to others, by showing kindness, compassion, and generosity in all that we do.
God's mercy is a gift freely given to all who seek it. We may have moments of doubt or uncertainty, like Thomas, but God's mercy is always available to us. It's a mercy that forgives our sins, heals our wounds, and gives us new life in Christ.
Let us continue to put our hands in the wounds of Christ, seeking his presence and his truth in all things.