Pastor's Blog - April 19, 2020

Sunday of Divine Mercy

This Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday, which is a celebration of the abundant mercy that flows from the heart of Christ, our risen Lord.  The gospel for this weekend is the story of our Savior’s appearance to his disciples behind locked doors shortly after the Resurrection.  They were hidden away in a secret location, huddled together in fear of the religious leaders who cooperated with Roman authorities in the trial and eventual crucifixion of their Master, Jesus.  The glorified Christ’s message to his followers is “Peace be with you,” as he shows them the wounds he sustained in his hands and side during his Passion.  The Lord then breathes the Holy Spirit on them and empowers them to forgive sins in his name:  “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained,” words that in effect institute the Sacrament of Reconciliation.   One of the twelve apostles, Thomas, was a no-show at this appearance of the risen Lord, and when he hears his fellow disciples marveling at their post-Easter encounter with Jesus, Thomas balks.  He refuses to believe that Jesus is alive, until he sees and touches the nail and spear marks on Jesus’ body.  Obviously, Thomas needed to experience for himself with his own senses the bodily resurrection of Christ.  Jesus obliges by appearing to the disciples again, and this time Thomas is present.  After he examines and verifies the identity of the risen Lord, Thomas, utters his famous affirmation of faith:  “My Lord and my God!”  Notice, Jesus does not reject or shun Thomas because of his initial unbelief.  In his mercy, Jesus provides Thomas with the evidence he needs to come to faith in the Resurrection.  Here is what Pope Saint John Paul II once said about Divine Mercy:  “All the subtleties of love become manifest in the Lord’s mercy towards those who are his own:  he is their Father….mercy is the content of intimacy with their Lord, the content of their dialogue with him.”  May we always rejoice in the Lord…for his mercy endures forever!

May all the blessings of the Easter Season be yours!