John 20: 19-31
As I stood listening to the gospel proclaimed at Mass this morning something had struck me about the Lord and Thomas and the other disciples that had gathered, locked in the upper room. Despite this display of the wounds to Thomas and the other disciples, there was never a time when their wounds were exposed and yet, somehow they were healed through Jesus exposing his own. So often in our lives we fear exposing our own wounds because of that very fact, that they are wounds and they have brought on much pain in our lives. As much as Jesus never mentions their wounds, they obviously weigh heavy on their hearts when he appears. They know how their own wounded-ness has been displayed in recent memory as they fled from his presence in his greatest moment of need, as he suffered and died on the cross. His wounds would have been a deep reminder of what was and had happened, yet, it’s never addressed. He doesn’t abandon them, now in their greatest time of need as their own lives will be threatened. No, he simply offers them what they need, peace.
Jesus understands their anxiety, their pain, the darkness and fear that they allowed to consume them in that moment, when the pressure was on to deny. In their moment of weakness they now lock themselves in the upper room for “fear of the Jews”; yet, it is only Christ crucified and raised who can move through the hearts that have become locked shut in fear and terror to bring about not condemnation or judgement or guilt or shame. They, I’m sure have done enough of that themselves as they blame each other and themselves for what had done, but no, peace. And not the peace that world tries to give but a peace that can come only from the Divine who offers limitless mercy in our lives, even when we have locked ourselves inside our hardness and fear.
Peter tells us in the Second Reading today, “Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in hi, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” We all see and desire that salvation of our souls and once again, Jesus shows the way through the disciples. He doesn’t need a key to get into those places in our lives, rather, like the disciples, in that moment of our own weakness when we finally begin to surrender that “we can’t do it anymore” and find ourselves locked inside, the wounded healer appears, never to judge, but to heal and offer us that same gift of peace.