Second Sunday of Easter May 1st, 2011 Year A (Divine Mercy)

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Today, the Catholic Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. Mercy is the basic content of the messianic message of Christ.

All of us have seen the picture of Our Lord as He appeared to St Faustina. Jesus told her of the mercy He wanted to give to the people, if only they believe. Our problem is that we don’t really believe in Jesus Christ. We don’t really believe in the promises of Our Lord. Most of us are lukewarm at best. We listen, Sunday after Sunday to the Readings and, hopefully, every day we read the Scriptures. Yet we walk away, for the most part, unchanged because we really don’t believe. We know fully well, if we did believe we would have to change our lives; we would have to reject and renounce bodily and worldly pleasures; we would have to do something different; we would not fit in anymore with all the people out in the world. So the Lord comes to us, once again, and He points to His heart. The rays of love flow from His heart depicting, in two different colours, the waters of Baptism and the Blood of Jesus Christ, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

In today’s Gospel we find a description of Thomas’ experience of faith and divine mercy, when he accepted the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ. That Easter evening when the Lord appeared to the disciples, Apostle Thomas was not present. When he was told that Jesus was alive and had shown himself, Thomas stated: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe” (Jn 20:25).

Jesus appeared again to his disciples a week later, and he said to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing” (Jn 20:27). See, how Jesus our Saviour showed mercy to the unbelieving Thomas! He needed personal evidence and the merciful Lord gave him that evidence!

We too can have tangible contact with Jesus and put our hand, so to speak, upon the signs of his Passion, the signs of his love. It is in the Sacraments that he draws particularly near to us and gives himself to us. So, we have to learn to “see” and to “meet” Jesus in the Eucharist, where he is present and close to us, and even becomes food for our journey. In the Sacrament of Penance, the Lord reveals his mercy and always grants us his forgiveness and peace.

Jesus said to Thomas: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20:29). Therefore, if we believe, and if we are able to live out our faith and bear witness to it every day, we will become a means of helping other people to find the meaning and joy of life, which is born of an encounter with the Risen Christ!

Keep the faith, live the faith, and give the faith!