Our Lord’s Divine Mercy

Apr 3, 2018

Gospel Reflection,  2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B
Acts of the Apostles 4: 32 - 35; 1 John 5: 1 - 6; John 20: 19 - 31

Our Lord’s Divine Mercy

Happy Easter everyone!  I wish you and your families a grace-filled Easter season that brings your family together by his love which has conquered all sin and death.  I wish to write about today, Divine Mercy Sunday.  This Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter, was declared Divine Mercy Sunday by Pope John Paul II on April 30th, 2000 at the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska.  This day was rightly regarded as so important by our late and beloved pope, that he was made Blessed in Rome on this very day on May 1st 2011 and canonized a saint on April 27th, 2014.  The last text prepared by our late and beloved Holy Father, written from his hospital bed and read after his death teaches us about the great gift of Divine Mercy.  He writes, “Today the glorious Alleluia of Easter resounds.  Today’s Gospel from John emphasizes that on the evening of that day he appeared to the Apostles and ‘showed them his hands and his side’ (Jn 20:20), that is, the sign of the painful passion with which his Body was indelibly stamped, even after the Resurrection.  Those glorious wounds, which he allowed doubting Thomas to touch eight days later, reveal the mercy of God who ‘so loved the world that he gave his only Son’ (Jn 3:16).  …Lord, who reveal the Father’s love by your death and Resurrection, we believe in you and confidently repeat to you today: Jesus, I trust in you, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.”

Mercy, which we are completely dependent on, is a hallmark of our Catholic faith.  In fact, our beloved and late pope called mercy love’s second name.  The corporal and spiritual works of mercy flow from divine mercy itself revealed so vividly to Thomas.  In the Good Samaritan parable, Jesus answers a man’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” by showing that the neighbor is one who shows mercy.  In the Last Judgment of Matthew 25 the sheep that are saved are the ones who did works of mercy – feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead.  These would be later called the Corporal Works of Mercy.  And the account that Jesus gives of the Last Judgment reveals to us that when they are done to the least brothers and sisters they are done to Jesus. 

I encourage you to pray the novena of Divine Mercy which began on Good Friday (you can begin now and catch up).  I also encourage you to come to our Divine Mercy celebration at 3:00 this Sunday.  It will consist of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Blessing of the Image of Divine Mercy and a personal Prayer of Entrustment to His Mercy.  Blessings to you and your family on this Octave day of our Lord’s Resurrection!

Father Tony