SUNDAY, SECOND WEEK OF EASTER, DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
Reading 1: Acts 4: 32-35 Contains a description of the first community of believers in Jesus, their common sharing of possessions, and care for all those in need.
Reading 2: 1 Jn 5: 1-6 John tells us that we can overcome the world because of our faith in Jesus, which makes us God’s own children.
Gospel: Jn 20: 19-31 Jesus’ first appearance to his apostles, sees a dramatic response from Thomas, whose unbelief leads to his poignant profession of faith: MY LORD AND MY GOD!
DIVINE LOVE EXTINGUISHES THE FIRES OF SIN
“Fire! Fire! Run and save your life!” The shouts became increasingly louder as the flames grew in intensity. The mother wrapped her two-year-old in a blanket and ran out of her house, forgetting all else. The flames had started to lean into the staircase as she dared to fight the heat that penetrated her skin. She held her toddler in a way that no flame could scar him without harming her first. Soon, the cacophony of fire-engine sirens drowned the panic of the crowd as the gush of water from the pipes fought the fierce flames and reigned victorious after a few minutes. Soon the calm, cool and quiet returned.
There is no greater blessing than water when caught in flames. There is no greater compassion than the blood and water that Jesus himself allowed to flow out from his own body to save us all from the fires of hell. His mercy is indeed divine. Souls are restored and minds are renewed by the power of the greatest act of love in all humanity and divinity. His mercy is the only hope that can vanquish all our distress, calm our fears and anxieties, heal our wounds and bring us out of the pit of darkness that sin throws us in.
What are the fires that encroach us on a daily basis? As revealed to St Faustina Kowalska, the Lord reminds us to recognize the flames that haul us from the path of salvation.
- A great lie that tears us away from God’s promise of grace is that God cannot show us mercy. The truth is that God wants us to approach him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking him to pour his mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
- There are also sparks of anger, jealousy, hatred, animosity, unforgiveness, lust, negativity, fear and addiction that we feed on due to lack of prayer. These sparks grow into flames that envelope us gradually. God wants us to receive his mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as he does to us.
- The third harmful flame is lack of trust in God’s love, mercy and plan for our lives. The essence of the Divine Mercy of Jesus is our complete and non-negotiable trust. God wants us to know that the graces of his mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more shall we receive.
We have to remember that just like the mother who protected her child in the safety of her arms from the violent flames, it is Jesus who protects us daily by his precious blood that was shed on the cross for us. There is nothing that we will endure that wasn’t suffered by him first. The impossible was made history in him. By the power of his holy and merciful love, we can now suffer as if it were a delight because his burden is light, and he helps us carry it.
In today’s Gospel, in addressing Thomas, Jesus addresses each one of us. He calls us blessed, because we have believed without seeing. He comes in peace, and gives us this sacred peace that surpasses all human understanding every time we encounter him in prayer. He gives us a special mission, the very same one that his father gave to him, when he says, ‘just as the Father sent me, so I send you’. But he does not leave us without aid. He sends his Spirit, our constant helper, companion and guide, and continues to provide his divine mercy to those who ask of it believing and trusting completely in him.
“Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions. And the purer our love becomes, the less there will be within us for the flames of suffering to feed upon, and the suffering will cease to be a suffering for us; it will become a delight!” (Diary of St. Faustina, n.303)
“Those who sincerely say ‘Jesus, I trust in You’ will find comfort in all their anxieties and fears. There is nothing more man needs than Divine Mercy – that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights to the holiness of God.” (St. Pope John Paul II)
Res. Psalm: Ps 118: 2-4,16-18,22-24 Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. (or) Alleluia!!
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