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Pope Francis: Experience Love by Allowing Forgiveness

April 8, 2018. ‘Gazing upon those wounds, the disciples understood the depth of his love.’

“As today we enter, through Christ’s wounds, into the mystery of God, we come to realize that mercy is not simply one of his qualities among others, but the very beating of his heart,” Pope Francis said April 8, 2018, in his homily for Divine Mercy Sunday, celebrated in St. Peter’s Square. “Then, like Thomas, we no longer live as disciples, uncertain, devout but wavering.  We too fall in love with the Lord!  We must not be afraid of these words: to fall in love with the Lord.”

The Holy Father referred to the day’s Gospel from John, in which the disciples see the risen Lord, but Thomas is not present and doubts their story.  But when he later sees Jesus himself, Thomas believes.

Despite his lack of faith, we should be grateful to Thomas, because he was not content to hear from others that Jesus was alive, or merely to see him in the flesh,” explained the Pope. “He wanted to see inside, to touch with his hand the Lord’s wounds, the signs of his love.

“The Gospel calls Thomas Didymus (v. 24), meaning the Twin, and in this, he is truly our twin brother.  Because for us too, it isn’t enough to know that God exists.  A God who is risen but remains distant does not fill our lives; an aloof God does not attract us, however just and holy he may be.  No, we too need to “see God”, to touch him with our hands and to know that he is risen, and risen for us.”

Like Thomas, we see Jesus through his words, according to Francis. And we need to seek his love and forgiveness.

“To experience love, we need to begin there: to let ourselves be forgiven,” the Pope said. “To let ourselves be forgiven.  I ask myself, and each one of you: do I allow myself to be forgiven?  To experience that love, we need to begin there.  Do I allow myself to be forgiven?

The Holy Father continued, stressing the importance of experiencing Jesus through his words, seeking forgiveness.  This can mean going to confession, which can be difficult but will leave us grateful.

“How can we see him?  Like the disciples: through his wounds.  Gazing upon those wounds, the disciples understood the depth of his love,” Pope Francis proclaimed. “They understood that he had forgiven them, even though some had denied him and abandoned him. To enter into Jesus’ wounds is to contemplate the boundless love flowing from his heart. This is the way.”