Recent psychological research shows that people with the most fulfilled lives are not focused on happiness. The studies show that those individuals who focus on being happy are not as fulfilled, while those individuals who focus on doing meaningful work in the world and let happiness come and go, feel more fulfilled. For the fulfilled, happiness is only a bi-product. For the unfulfilled, happiness is the aim. From this we can see clearly; what you aim for, the mark you set, is vitally important.

The Greek work for sin is ‘hamartia’. ‘Hamartia’ means ‘to miss the mark’. However, these studies  just mentioned show us that most sin is not missing the mark because we aren’t good at finding the goal, finding happiness. Most of our sin is missing the mark because we have the wrong mark in mind in the first place. In this light, orienting our hearts to the true mark, the right aim, is the most important capacity for overcoming sin.

And this is why Thomas is so remarkable in our gospel this week (Jn 20). Thomas set his aim right. He said if I am to know that you are the Christ, you must have wounds! Thomas’ aim and expectations were right on; if it is the Christ, he must have Holy Wounds.

Dear Friends, if we too are to find the Christ in our hearts, find the Christ in others, let us be like Thomas and not miss the mark. Let us not miss the mark because our expectations of who God is are off.

Let us aim correctly; peace-filled pain, joy-filled sorrow- these are the marks by which we find God.