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Thomas and the sacred heart

The apostle Thomas went from doubting Jesus’ resurrection to professing his faith in Jesus and declaring Jesus’ divinity, “My Lord and my God.” What happened?
He encountered the love of Jesus. We could say he encountered the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jesus said, “…bring your hand and put it into my side…” In the Gospel of John life flows out of the side of Christ, flows out of his heart. Earlier in the Gospel, during the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus said rivers of water would flow out of him to anyone who believes, and this life-giving water is the Holy Spirit. When the soldier pierced Jesus’ side on the cross, blood and water flowed out, which the Church has always seen as signifying the sacraments especially Baptism and the Eucharist.
Now when Thomas sees the wound in Christ’s side he is overcome. The physical wound which Thomas saw was only the gateway to the love of Jesus’ Sacred Heart. What Thomas really saw was the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for him, a heart that is wounded out of love for humanity, the Sacred Heart that took the sin of humanity upon itself. That is what love does, love suffers for the other and Thomas now sees this suffering wounded love before his eyes. He sees Divine Mercy in physical form… Divine Mercy forgives, heals and restores. Jesus invites Thomas, “…bring your hand and put it into my side…” Thomas is invited, as it were, to touch the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As Thomas encounters the Sacred Heart of Jesus he is forgiven, healed and restored. His heart is also changed into a heart of love. He can only respond, “My Lord and my God.”
Christ’s Sacred Heart which raised up Thomas from despair to faith is ready to raise up each of us from any despair we may have to Christian hope. Christ invites each of us, “…bring your hand and put it into my side…” Christ invites each of us to touch his Sacred Heart, to allow our hearts to become hearts of love. As we look on Christ’s Sacred Heart we too see that Christ’s love forgives us, heals us and restores us. In Christ’s Sacred Heart we too see the love of Jesus for us and with Thomas we respond, “My Lord and my God.”
Adapted from a 2013 homily by Fr Tommy Lane