Divine Mercy Articles

 

It is Jesus who approaches us

Distrust of the Mercy of Jesus

by Fr. Jason Jones

Doubting Thomas

I am writing this reflection on the Feast of Saint Thomas, nicknamed “Doubting Thomas”. In the Gospel, Saint Thomas refuses to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. He was, after all, just brutally tortured and murdered, who could blame him? But Jesus had risen, and He approaches Saint Thomas and invited him to touch His wounds. The physical touch of the wounds of Jesus makes him declare, “My Lord and my God”. Then Jesus tells him, “You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”.

Doubting Souls

A greater wound to the Heart of the Lord (which He often spoke about in His dialogues with Saint Maria Faustina) is our lack of trust in His unfathomable Divine Mercy. St. Faustina told her fellow religious, Sister Justine, that “When a soul fears getting close to the Lord Jesus after a fall, then it wounds the Sacred Heart of Jesus horribly, for the lack of trust hurts Him more than the most terrible sins”.

Saint Thomas doubts the Resurrection of the Lord from the dead but in touching the wounds he finds the healing of his lack of trust and faith so that the Old Testament prophecy can be fulfilled, “by His wounds we are healed”. 

Incomplete Understanding of God

As a result of mankind's lack of trust in God, there is in its place a wounded, incomplete understanding of God which comes into existence. The physical manifestation of this distorted image is a terrifying fear of God. 

Searching for the Lost sheep

The Image of Divine Mercy reminds us that the Lord continues to come looking for us in our sin but often we prefer to hide because we are afraid. 

But through the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday, the true extent of the mercy of God becomes visible. Jesus dies so we can be forgiven, wholly and completely. Christ, the Good Shepherd, goes looking for the lost, wounded sheep but our distorted image of God wounds us into thinking that our sin is too revolting to God, so therefore He surely must rejects us.

As a result of this lack of understanding, we too, like the Apostles, lock ourselves into our own upper room out of fear of God. We hide ourselves, yet God does not hide from us.

Remember, it is Jesus you approaches you

The Feast of St Thomas reminds us that the Merciful Lord can still enter into the “locked room” of our heart. Like Saint Thomas, it is He who comes to us. Jesus completely understands why we doubt. But all His words and all His actions should lead us to believe that Jesus is genuine when He tells us to trust in His Mercy.

A Terrifying Fear of God

He doesn’t want people to waste their entire life feeling an unnecessary terror of God. A Holy Fear of God is very different to a terrifying fear of God because you believe He rejects you because your sins are so horrific and He will not forgive you.

The Holy Fear of God is a Gift of the Holy Spirit that guides our souls away from sin and onto the path of love, peace and joy. A terror of the justice of God, as a result of the realisation of “gravity of it sins” and “the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes” whereas normal, must eventually be overcome by a genuine realisation that Jesus is genuine about granting pardon to repentant souls. (Diary Passage no. 1541)

Understanding we should trust Him completely

Though Saint Faustina, Jesus speaks to each of us when He told her that, “My Heart is sorrowful because even chosen souls do not understand the greatness of My mercy. Their relationship with Me is, in certain ways, imbued with mistrust. Oh, how much that wounds My Heart! Remember My Passion, and if you do not believe My words, at least believe My wounds”. (Diary Passage 379)

The Image of Divine Mercy shows us His wounds and we are invited to look upon those marks of love and be renewed in trust. May St Thomas, who is often overlooked on Divine Mercy Sunday, inspire us as we behold our Lord and God in the Sacred Host, knowing that before us is the Lord Jesus who calls us to trust in Him. In looking at Him, may we find the healing of our doubts and the understanding of certainty of Mercy.

 

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Our Lady Untier of Knots

Our Lady Untier of Knots
Unfailing Novena to Our Lady Untier (Undoer) of Knots, a wonderful nine-day prayer to Our Lady. This is Pope Francis' favourite Novena. One of the fastest growing Marian Devotions in the world.

 

Click this link to view: Our Lady Untier of Knots Prayer Book