The Octave Day of Easter or Low Sunday* dawns a little cloudily here in Herefordshire. It echoes the world’s mood. The news is full of sudden and violent deaths — in Douma, Saskatchewan, Münster, the streets of London, to name but a few — yet Christ stands before us, showing us his wounds and promising us mercy, forgiveness and eternal life if we will but believe. If. We tend to look at ourselves, not at him, and forget that before we can admit our sin and neediness we must already have been forgiven, have experienced the miracle of grace that is faith. We may not have experienced it as we would have liked, with trumpets sounding and never a moment’s hesitation, but we have experienced it. Thomas’s hesitant, probing uncertainty, his fingers reaching into Christ’s wounded side, the confession of faith wrung finally from his lips, are an encouragement to us all. We are not asked for what we cannot give, for the faith of others, but for the faith we have been given: for that tiny mustard seed, that fragile little kernel, that small, wobbly, incomparably great gift we glimpse by fits and starts, as in the half-light of evening. One day we shall know it for what it is: Christ himself. Alleluia!
* There are many names for this day. It is ‘Low’ in comparison with the first Sunday of Easter, but it is still Easter Day, which we celebrate for a whole week. The name ‘Divine Mercy Sunday’ is a very recent addition.