“UNLESS I SEE…I REFUSE TO BELIEVE”
SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER (DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY)
Do we want to see the holes in the hands of CHRIST? Thomas, the Twin was very particular and prudent: “Unless I see, … unless I put the finger, unless I put the hand in his side, I refuse to believe” (Cf. John 20, 25).
Thomas needed to see real wounds in the body of Christ! And we can see them every day in the life of Christians: real Christians, baptized, church goers that do not move, their hands, still nailed to a kind of cross because they are unable to share, unable to embrace and ask and give forgiveness, unable to help the needy where Christ is. And also the heart of Christ is pierced now by the many kinds of violence towards Christians, usually where they are a minority.
This body appeared to Thomas and appears to us; we usually do not recognize Him because we prefer signs of glory and success; but Jesus meets and sends us with the signs of human suffering in his body.
Let us look at the apparitions as reported by John: our mission, our being sent with his signs appears clearly in this Gospel. Jesus risen from the dead goes first to meet his disciples. It is the first day of the week, the beginning of the new creation (dies solis according to Didakè, a very ancient liturgical book, and we continue to call it Sun Day: Sunday).
Jesus greets them with the common Jewish greeting: “peace”, but shows with a movement of hands and side his wounds because his peace was costing and now costs a lot, and it is necessary for the mission. Now in fact Christ sends us to continue the mission he received from the Father: “As the Father sent me, I am sending you” (v. 21), words that should be the object of continual examination of conscience for all of us.
Finally, He equips those that are sent with the only indispensable gift: the Holy Spirit.
And Thomas? He was not there during the first meeting of the Apostles with the risen Lord, when all of them received the mission; was he sent? Sure, trough the Holy Spirit received by Jesus he proclaimed in the most complete and concise way what Jesus is: Lord and God. He also made Jesus proclaim the last beatitude: “Happy are those who have not seen and Yet believe” (v. 29).
We are the ones, aren't we?