Some people are forever remembered by their trademark statement, I remember listening to Paul Harvey on the radio for many years and I knew that meant I would hear "and now you know the rest of the story". On this Easter Octave, on this Divine Mercy Sunday, we all can say, we know the rest of the story.
Poor Thomas did not know the rest of the story. Like his fellow Apostles, friends and followers of Jesus in the flesh, he knew the horrifying events of Good Friday. They all would know Jesus indeed died, crucified, pierced with a lance, and was buried in a borrowed tomb. They all feared for their own lives, they are locked behind closed doors but Thomas is not there; we know not where.
And while Thomas is not present the rest of the story! Jesus arrives, peace be with you, He breathed the Holy Spirit upon them, giving them the power to forgive sins and they all could not wait to tell Thomas the rest of the story. And they did, and Thomas does not believe them. Give me proof, show me proof. I will not believe without proof. I wonder how many people today, many Christians, still need or want proof? What if we were actually in Thomas' shoes?
How does Jesus respond? Is He mad? Is he going to lecture poor Thomas? Is He going to let him have it. Absolutely not. He gently guides Thomas to find the proof he desires, put your finger here, place your hand over here; do not be unbelieving Thomas, but believe. And faith overtakes the need for proof as Thomas proclaims words hopefully we proclaim often, very often: "My Lord and my God."
You know Jesus is very aware that throughout the story of mankind going forward there will be many who have doubts, just like Thomas did. Jesus knows that there will be many who need the rest of the story and He knows many still will never believe. Do not be unbelieving!!! Thomas wasted a week unbelieving; many waste a lifetime, many waste their life.
Do we proclaim my Lord and my God? Do we do so at every Mass. Our physical eyes see the elevation of what appears to be bread and wine; yet, we know better, we know the rest of the story: His Body and Blood is before us; My Lord and My God!!!
Believe; step out in Faith!!!
And for us today the rest of the story includes the great example of God's incredible mercy: The Feast of Divine Mercy. The incredible appearances of Jesus as Divine Mercy to St. Faustina are present day reminders for all of us that God's mercy is everlasting! Can we honor the sacrifice of Christ for us, His glorious Resurrection and the Rest of His Story in the week ahead by:
Reread the story of Thomas twice; and do not be unbelieving but believe
Pray one Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Memorize this message from Jesus to St. Faustina:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One; have mercy on us and on the whole world.
And finally, offer your prayers this week for everyone, the dead and the living, who experienced or were impacted by the devastating terrorist attack on innocent Christians in Sri Lanka. Consider these martyrs, who loving attend Mass despite the dangers of attending Mass in a country where Christians are a minority. Pray for them.
Promise made promise delivered:
Jesus is Risen, indeed, He is truly risen, Alleluia...and now you know the rest of the story!!