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Something to think and pray about this week

About Patience and Mercy

In the Gospel of John, the apostle Thomas personally experiences the mercy of God, which has a concrete face: the face of the risen Jesus. Thomas does not believe it when the other apostles tell him, “We have seen the Lord.” It isn’t enough for him that Jesus had foretold it, promised it: “On the third day I will rise.” He wants to see, he wants to put his hand in the place of the nails and in Jesus’ side. And how does Jesus react? With patience: Jesus does not abandon Thomas in his stubborn unbelief; he gives him a week’s time. He does not close the door; he waits. And Thomas acknowledges his own poverty, his little faith: “My Lord and my God!” With this simple yet faith-filled invocation, he responds to Jesus’ patience. He lets himself be enveloped by divine mercy; he sees it before his eyes, in the wounds of Christ’s hands and feet and in his open side, and he discovers trust. He is a new man, no longer an unbeliever, but a believer.

Let us think too of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus: their sad faces, their barren journey, their despair. But Jesus does not abandon them: he walks beside them, and not only that! Patiently he explains the Scriptures, which spoke of him, and he stays to share a meal with them. This is God’s way of doing things: he is not impatient like us, who often want everything all at once. . . . Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God!

From Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy, Loyola Press.