When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Working at Seattle University, I would pray with the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel of Saint Ignatius. My eyes often would glance upward toward a window with the IHS-shattered sunrays etched into the glass. As the architect of the chapel said: the window is meant to remind us that our world is broken and yet Christ is found present there, the Real Presence rising in our lives in our midst.
Having missed Jesus’ first appearance with the disciples a week earlier, Jesus invites Thomas to put his finger into the wounds. At that moment, Thomas believes Jesus is the Christ. Jesus – risen from the dead – still carries the wounds of the world in his body and yet now is glorified. Can we believe that, despite the places where brokenness and chaos is still evident in our lives, the resurrected Christ comes and transforms these wounds, unlocking possibility and new life?
—Fr. Michael Bayard, S.J. serves as Provincial Assistant for parishes and spiritual ministries of the Oregon and California Jesuit provinces.
O good Jesus, hear me; in your wounds, hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
In the hour of my death, call me to come to you.
With your saints may I praise your glory, now and always. Amen.
—From the “Anima Christi” prayer