A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 20:19-31
"On the Evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained.
Thomas called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?" Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. The Gospel of the Lord
+Let us Pray: Come Holy Spirit enkindle the hearts of the Faithful and fill them with the fire of your Love, send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shall renew the face of the earth+
In the Gospel, on Divine Mercy Sunday, we are drawn as disciples with Thomas and the others, to gaze upon the Wounds of Jesus, the Wounds He bore for us all. This superb Caravaggio painting of the disciple Thomas actually putting his finger inside the Wound in our Lord's side, draws us into the mystery of our redemption. Look at Jesus, Listen to Jesus say to you; "Peace be with you." Gaze upon the person of Jesus who IS Peace and who bids you, His Peace.
Why is Peace so important to us, as disciples of our Lord? We need Peace greatly- in order to recognize and to see, not only the gifts of God, but above all, to be able to encounter, and to recognize-the Giver of the gifts. Peace 'Is' "being" with Christ. We all suffer the loss of Peace most rapidly through sin. We can loose peace when we try to control things, or resist God's Will and God's Word, and when we resist God's healing action on our soul. Many things can also 'steal' our peace, if, we allow this peace to be stolen. It is given as a Gift, from Christ, and as all gifts from God, it must be guarded and cherished, it must be "held with respect." Anytime we loose our awareness of Jesus in the present moment, we loose Peace. In this Gospel passage Jesus is in their Midst. He is in our midst too, in the messiness of our lives, in the fears we cling to, or listen to, and behind our locked doors where we hide our hearts, He IS with us in our midst giving us the gift of His Peace. To strive to maintain this Peace of Christ, is to strive to live the present moment, ordering our life in Christ and this takes discipline! The discipline to bear the moment in all its pain, or emptiness or suffering or confusion. To bear it with Him for love of Him is to Be with Him. The present moment is precisely where we will encounter Christ, because here is where God is, the great "I AM. " Confession is a means to peace, a means to oneness with Christ. To frequent this sacrament, as disciples of Jesus, is extremely important, as we must first acknowledge, that we are wounded and we need healing and we cannot heal ourselves. There is only ONE Person who can heal us, and He is Jesus. Oftentimes the evil one terrifies us, by recounting our wounds, our sins, our failures in love. He twists the very means of entry into Christ, our wounds, and the liar tells us, to hide those wounds, and not to show them to Jesus. Our Lord reveals Himself by showing us His wounds-He doesn't want us to be afraid, to live in fear- fear is NOT from Jesus. Jesus Himself, shows us His wounds, and He bids us to come close, and show Him our wounds. Jesus will always give light in the darkness of confusion and the midst of satan's countless lies. The evil one does not want us to show Jesus our wounds because he knows, that in showing our wounds, we will be healed and drawn even closer into Christ Heart of Mercy burning with Love for us.
Show Jesus your wounds. What are they? The bruises, the brokenness, the shame, the confusion, the doubts, fears etc... He knows it all, show Him. What is stopping you, preventing you from being peaceful? Being in His Peace, receiving His Peace? Pay close attention, it will be the arrow that points to the wound, that is "still bleeding" the wound that He wants to heal the wound that is preventing you from receiving His Peace.
There is a beautiful Chaplet of the Holy Wounds, its very simple, but powerful. Our Father Beads pray: Eternal Father, I offer You, the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to heal the wounds of our Souls, and on the Hail Mary Beads pray: My Jesus, pardon and Mercy by the merits of Your Holy Wounds. Amen
Prayer: Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me, water from the side of Christ, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, within Thy Wounds, hide me, suffer me not to be separated from Thee, from the malicious enemy, defend me, and in the hour of my death, call me, and bid me come unto Thee, that with Thy saints, I may praise Thee, forever and ever, Amen.