Fr. Austin's Holy Thought


Second Sunday of Easter

Divine Mercy Sunday

The Logic of Mercy


John 20:19-31

Like Thomas the apostle, we 21st century people look for proof: ‘Unless I see the holes the nails made, I will not believe’, said Thomas.  And like him we look for evidence that God is alive in a tormented world. But the ‘proof’ Jesus gave was subtle and disarming: no awesome justice to punish the likes of Pilate or Putin, but simply the witness that he himself had suffered. He showed Thomas his wounds. And the sight of pierced hands and feet moved Thomas’ spirit.

Our own world needs exactly the same witness: people need to know that we feel their suffering, and know their pain, be it the ache of broken relationships, the pain of poverty or the suffering of war.

The gift of mercy is the most precious sign we can give of the presence of the living Jesus. People may shout angrily at the church and say they want proof, but what they really need is to know that someone feels their pain, so they can feel the touch of a merciful God.

Older people in our parish will recall the  visit of Pope John Paul II to Britain in 1982 when at Coventry airport he appealed to the  logic of mercy. (Against the backdrop of the Falklands war and the IRA bomb campaign) 

He cited Portia’s famous speech from Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ about the quality of mercy, and pleaded for humanity to abandon the logic of revenge.

Some 20 years later when a new millennium began, he declared this day, the second Sunday of Easter to be the  day of Divine Mercy.


Fr.Austin scj   


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