Thomas' doubt might be more relatable during these months of no Mass
by Sister Rose Jochmann
On this Second Sunday of Easter we continue our celebration of Easter. We hear the familiar Gospel about Thomas who will not believe that Jesus has risen until he can “see the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands" (John 20:25). We, too, are asked to believe in the Risen Lord without seeing him. Our faith is certainly being tested these days of “Safer at Home”. We are asked to place our trust in Christ in the Eucharist when we cannot physically attend Mass and receive Eucharist. (See "Spiritual Communion" below.) More than ever, we trust in the words of Jesus, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
Twenty years ago, Pope John Paul II designated the Second Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. He did so on the day the Polish nun, Saint Faustina Kowalska, was canonized. The image that represents Divine Mercy comes from the devotion initiated by Saint Faustina. In the Divine Mercy image, Jesus is depicted as the risen and glorious Lord. According to Saint Faustina, “the two rays from the heart of Jesus represent the blood and the water.” The blood recalls Christ’s passion. The water represents our Baptism. Both symbols are very appropriate for this Easter season.
As we continue to live under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we plead for mercy: Mercy for those afflicted with the virus, mercy and safety for health care workers and first responders, mercy for those who have died. Let this be our prayer today, “My Jesus, mercy!”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Saint Thomas Aquinas defined “spiritual communion” as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him. Saint Teresa of Avila wrote, “When you cannot receive Communion and cannot attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.”
An Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops