Here is a synopsis of my homily for divine mercy Sunday.
John Paul II named this Sunday (the Sunday within the Octave of Easter) Divine Mercy Sunday. When I think of God's mercy it makes me think of 3 essential points, all of which intersect with the Gospel for today (the story of "doubting" Thomas.
1: Mercy is a free gift. Mercy is given never earned. Jesus appears to the Apostles and says: peace be with you. He then shows them the price of his mercy, his hands and his side. Jesus Christ was sent as God's mercy upon sinful humanity. In his death and resurrection he forever destroys sin and death. This mercy is given, not earned. This is why Jesus gives peace to the apostles. It is his gift for us, the gift that he won for us with his blood. We cannot earn mercy, we have to receive it. This should make us thankful!
2: We have a desire to experience mercy. Thomas was not there when Jesus showed the apostles the marks mercy left upon him. He was not there to see mercy, to experience mercy: I will not believe unless I see, Thomas says. I will not believe in God's mercy unless I experience it. Now mercy is never earned, it is given, but in that it is freely given, we long to experience it. We want to come to mercy. We want to see Jesus. Now we may not get to see Jesus the way that Thomas did, but we do get to experience the same mercy. We get to experience the same Jesus when he gives us his blessing of peace. When we go to confession, when we receive God's mercy in that amazing sacrament, it is analogous to seeing Jesus' wounds, to placing our hand in his wounded side. When we experience the love and mercy of Christ in this sacrament, we behold the mercy of Christ our savior: Blessed indeed are those who have not seen and believe, for they receive the same mercy.
3: this mercy seeks to be shared. When we receive God's gift of mercy, when we experience it in our daily lives, we must become merciful. The best thanks we can give to God for his mercy to us is to be merciful to those around us. Mercy must be passed on. Having experienced God's gift of mercy we must share that mercy, that gift with our family and friends.
Jesus we trust in you.