Here is the opening of Pope Francis’ homily on Divine Mercy Sunday. The gospel is the well-known account of the Sunday evening of the Resurrection: “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews…” It is the story we mostly remember as the story about “doubting Thomas.” But all the disciples were there. People who had heard the women’s account of having encountered the Risen Jesus. Perhaps the travelers to Emmaus had already returned. What they found was fear and locked doors.
Last Sunday we celebrated the Lord’s resurrection; today we witness the resurrection of his disciple. It has already been a week, a week since the disciples had seen the Risen Lord, but in spite of this, they remained fearful, cringing behind “closed doors” (Jn 20:26), unable even to convince Thomas, the only one absent, of the resurrection. What does Jesus do in the face of this timorous lack of belief? He returns and, standing in the same place, “in the midst” of the disciples, he repeats his greeting: “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19, 26). He starts all over. The resurrection of his disciple begins here, from this faithful and patient mercy, from the discovery that God never tires of reaching out to lift us up when we fall.
“The resurrection of his disciples begins here….”
May we arise from our fears of virus and the shade of doubt. With the mercy of God, may we begin to rise.