Reflecting on John 20: 19-31
I love the word mercy. I love its musical sound when spoken, and the heart’s warm release when it is received and lodged there. I love the feeling of extending mercy, especially because I have had so much mercy extended to me.
This Lent has been an immersion in mercy. Just like me, that barren fig tree got still another year to shape up and start bearing fruit. The lost son was welcomed home so ecstatically that I’ll bet the resentful neighbors were scandalized. The woman caught in adultery found only mercy when she waited for Jesus to acknowledge her. I think we could all feel his heart break for her as he scribbled in the sand. I wonder if he was so mortified by the behavior of her accusers that he was embarrassed to look at her.
Mercy just feels good, and I’ll bet that’s God way of getting us to give it more often. I’ll bet it was even more exciting for Jesus to let Thomas feel his wounds than it was for Thomas to touch them and realize that this was truly his crucified Lord, the one who lives. Oh, the mercy in that upper room that first Easter night! Thomas was so transformed by the experience that tradition tells us he traveled all the way to India to tell of that mercy over and over again.
Do you long for a closer connection with Christ this Easter? Here’s the surefire answer: extend mercy to everyone you meet. I can hear the Risen One laughing and clapping and sending more and more mercy your way. That’s Easter. Thanks be to God, Alleluia! Alleluia.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).