Easter calls us to celebrate the risen Christ; a week later, Divine Mercy Sunday calls us to accept the gift and challenge Christ’s resurrection brings to us. Thomas is with the other apostles, all still frightened, all still sheltering in place. Once again Jesus greets his friends, “Peace. Do not be afraid.” He then addresses Thomas, inviting him to touch his wounds and believe. Thomas, of course, responds not to Christ’s wounds, but to the presence of his friend and his Lord.
Much has been written about Thomas’s doubts, but if we are to participate fully in God’s mercy, we must recognize Christ’s faith in us. Transformed in such a way that his followers did not recognize him, Jesus still retained his wounds. Accepting God’s mercy means acknowledging our weakness and fear and letting Christ’s faith in us move us to service, whatever that may mean. And when that divine push seems a shove too far, we can join Mary asking the angel: “How can this be?” And then, we, like Mary, can say yes to God for whom nothing is impossible.