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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Fourth Station of Joy

The fourth station is that of Thomas. It is the Gospel for the Sunday after Easter and seems a last chance to convince us of the truth of the resurrection and to convert us to joy. Thomas was the one we often resemble when we doubt, when we are pessimists and hard-headed. Evely describes him as one who was a skeptical realist who was mistrustful when things looked too good.
Thomas was not with the others when Jesus appeared to them on that first Easter. When they told him, he said, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the marks of the nails and place my hand in his side, I will not believe."
Jesus knew Thomas and knew that he had to change his plan to accommodate Tomas. Jesus comes and tells him, "Come, put your finger, put your hand...and do not be faithless but believing." And so Thomas makes his great act of faith: My Lord and My God" which so many of us still say at the moment of the Consecration.
The Lord, by his gentleness, reconciled Thomas immediately. And then, there was a gentle reproach when Jesus said: "Because you have seen, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
Now, let us look at the joy of this station. Thomas is full of joy and the first of the apostles to call Jesus his God. Evely says that from "doubting Thomas, Jesus drew the most beautiful act of faith in the Gospel. Jesus loved him so well, healed him so gently, that from this fault,...Jesus brought forth a joyful affirmation. God alone knows how to make our hearts become happy faults."

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