Mercy is God’s nature. God’s merciful love holds nothing back: “His mercy endures forever.” A wave of mercy is poured out over all humanity. As Saint Faustina quotes God in her diary, “I am love and Mercy itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My Mercy. . . . The soul that trusts in my mercy is most fortunate, because I myself take care of it” (Diary 1273). The Hebrew word that we might translate as “mercy” is hesed, which is best translated as “lovingkindness.”  (Yes, that’s one word.)

The Resurrection accounts show disciples not recognizing the Risen Lord. Thomas doesn’t want to recognize the Lord until he puts his hands into Jesus’ wounds. We know that Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Jesus Christ right away, having mistaken him for the gardener. And the two disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize the Lord even after walking some miles with him. All of them unaware, for they were steeped in their own wounds—Thomas’ doubt, Mary Magdalene’s sorrow, and the two disciples’ self-pity.

Perhaps we, too, have wounds that don’t let the recognition of Christ’s presence flood our souls. What are your wounds, and what do you do with your nail marks? Our wounds may be grief, ridicule, failure, feeling used, anger, and so on. We’re feeling a lot of our wounds now, but we have choices about what we do with the nail marks.