Mercy, God’s tender love, is the only real thing; at the end of human history, only mercy will remain. Today we hear the tale of doubting Thomas, a man who refused to let go of his bitter disappointment in God’s silence at the Cross. But the Lord had returned to the apostles on Easter night as they huddled behind locked doors. “Peace be with you” are always his first words to them, repeated four times in today’s brief reading. Thomas was not with them, and upon returning refuses to believe in Jesus. A week later, that is, today, Jesus returns to that room and turns to Thomas: Touch me, and believe, my dear son. Let go of your fear. Trust me. Thomas surrenders, and so becomes a saint on the spot: “My Lord and my God.” God does exist, and is worthy of our complete trust. Paint an image, Jesus told Sr. Faustina, according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.
But how can I trust Jesus the way Thomas did; how can I receive his mercy? I learn to trust him by obeying him. Saint John says in the second reading that “the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.” We know we actually love God, rather than just thinking we love him, by keeping his laws. A Catholic is one who does not simply receive God’s mercy; he gives God’s mercy. He serves as a vessel of divine mercy when he keeps his commandments. God never refuses us mercy, but we are not capable of receiving his mercy if we do not trust him enough to obey him.