At the centre of this Sunday, which concludes the octave of Easter, and which St. John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the Risen Christ, He showed them for the first time when he appeared to the apostles on the evening of the first day of the week, the day of the Resurrection. Eight days later Jesus appeared again in the upper room in the midst of the disciples and invited Thomas to touch His wounds. Thomas knelt down in front of Jesus and said: “My Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28). St. Peter quotes Isaiah and writes to the Christians: “His wounds have healed us” (1 Peter 2:24); cf. Isaiah 53:5.

John, today’s evangelist, presents Thomas as the prototype of the modern man, modern, rationalist, who believes only what he touches. The character of Thomas is described in several passages of the Gospel. Today we heard his words: “Unless I see in his hands the prints of the nails and put my finger in their place and my hand in his side, I will not believe it” (Jn 20,25). (Jn 20,25).

Such a tremendous hardness on the part of Thomas, he must have suffered a lot during the Lord’s Passion, as he said: “Let us also go and die with him”. Jesus’ answer to Thomas’ demand is prodigious: “Come, Thomas, put your fingers in, put your hand in, and do not be unbelieving, but faithful! “Thomas was the first apostle to call Jesus: “My God”, because God knows how to forgive sins in this way, how to make our faults something that we forget, because his great tenderness is above them.

How often we suffer because we do not believe! Thomas’ resistance to believe moved the Lord so much that he said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”. Modern man needs to meet the risen Christ where his love is alive, for this becomes a reality when we love one another, share what we have and respect those who do not think like us, denounce injustice, forgive, serve others in our work, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and visit the sick. In this way we bear witness to our brotherhood, hope and joy of faith and life over sin and death.

Do we see ourselves reflected in those fearful disciples who save their common life by being exiled from their surroundings? If Jesus is risen, he cannot allow fear to keep him inside. He has peace in his heart, the world as his mission and forgiveness as his primary occupation.

Prayer: My Lord and my God, may we not fail to recognise you in the wounds we see in our brothers and sisters.

(Psalm 117) Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.