In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul recounts the number of persons who saw the risen Christ. In addition to the Apostles and the women, “he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time.” [1 Cor 15: 3-8]
Even with this witness, Jesus gave great encouragement directly to us 2,000 years later when he said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
But is it true that we in the 21st century cannot see Jesus? Don’t we see him in the poor and the imprisoned, in the hungry and thirsty?
Pope Francis, in a 2014 general audience, reminded us: "It is through our brothers and sisters that he comes to us and makes himself known. This is what belonging to the church means.”
Perhaps we get the greatest glimpse of him in his acts of mercy, the Pope adds. When Thomas refuses to believe the other Apostles, Jesus does not abandon Thomas in his stubborn unbelief. He waits.
As St. Thomas Aquinas said: To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
Our prayer for today: Lord, help us always see your face in our brothers and sisters and reflect your mercy toward them through our faith.
(Image by Carl Heinrich Bloch)