Monday, April 12, 2010

Truth As Mercy

Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday in the Catholic Church. What a beautiful devotion this is to the Mercy of God!
In Sunday's gospel reading, we find the story of doubting Thomas. In God's Mercy, He allowed Thomas the apostle to doubt what the other disciples said so that by seeing, we may also come to faith in the Risen Lord.
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
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.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to 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 into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name." ~ John 20:19-31
We must believe whole-heartedly with the same new found faith of Thomas. It is a faith based on Truth - a Truth that brings us freedom. But when freedom becomes the all in all, our own moral judgment has no guide and we are lost. Pope John Paul II says it this way in his encyclical "Splendor of Truth",
"Certain currents of modern thought have gone so far as to exalt freedom to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values . . .But in this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place to a criterion of sincerity, authenticity and 'being at peace with oneself', so much so that some have come to adopt a radically subjectivistic conception of moral judgment."
Pope Benedict XVI puts it more simply,
"We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires." ~ Pope Benedict XVI

Right now, we are living in a world torn asunder by the tyranny of relativism. It's. o.k. I'm o.k. You're o.k. Everything is o.k. Freedom has become license and truth, the moral compass, is lost. We must pray for God's Mercy now more than ever.

We did not get her over night. It will be hard work to return to the freedom to choose - not what we want - but what is right and good. Relativism has for a long time been marketed as freedom but it is only an old form of slavery - the license to do as you wish. Only the Truth will truly set us free. The Truth is: God is supreme and has revealed Himself completely in His Son Who has risen from the dead. "My Lord and my God!" Thomas says. Let this also be our Declaration of Independence.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

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