“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. ‘My Lord and my God!’
Today is the eighth day of our 50 day celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s also called Divine Mercy Sunday, celebrating God’s love and mercy exemplified in the Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
Someone has said “80 % of success in life is showing up”. The accounts of Jesus’ Resurrection recorded in the New Testament illustrate Jesus’ desire to “show up” in order to convince his disciples that he indeed has risen from the dead. He shows up on that first Easter Sunday evening. The disciples are cowering behind locked doors fearing that what happened to Jesus would happen to them. Jesus shows up and his first words to them are ‘Peace be with you’. He shows them the marks of the crucifixion in his hands, feet and side. He says again “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain, are retained.” The Risen Christ brings peace, mercy and forgiveness.
For whatever reason, Thomas was absent on that first Easter Sunday evening. The disciples tell him, ‘We have seen the Lord’. Thomas insists “Unless I can see the marks of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Jesus shows up exactly a week later. His message is the same “Peace be with you”. Then he says to Thomas, “Put your finger her and see my hands, and put your hand into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas’ beautiful and faith-filled response is “My Lord and my God.”
The Risen Christ shows up to lead his disciples from doubt and discouragement to faith in his Resurrection. The Risen Christ shows up to commission them to bring mercy and forgiveness to all people. The Risen Christ shows up to give God’s Holy Spirit to be with his Church until the end of time.
Each day the Risen Christ shows up in our lives. He shows up in his Word in Sacred Scripture. He shows up in the Sacraments, especially in the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He shows up in every single human person we encounter. His message to us is always the same “Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit. Your sins are forgiven. Go out and bring this Good News to all the world. Our response is “My Lord and my God”.
So we pray, Risen Lord we thank you for showing up in our lives each day. We thank you for your victory over sin and death. We thank you for the peace, mercy and love you bring to our lives. Help us to be your ambassadors of peace, mercy, forgiveness and love in our world. Amen.