Second Sunday of Easter
Reading 1 ACTS 4:32-35
Responsorial Psalm PS 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
- (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
Reading 2 1 JN 5:1-6
Alleluia JN 20:29
Gospel JN 20:19-31
Homily—April 8, 2018 Divine Mercy Sunday
This is Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast established by Pope St. John Paul II to celebrate the merciful love of God that has been revealed most completely through Jesus. The church has chosen to use the same Gospel on this Sunday in each year of the liturgical cycle, a sure sign that it has something vital to tell us about what we are celebrating.
Even though the disciples were behind locked doors Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you”. He showed them the wounds from his crucifixion that they might believe and gives them the Holy Spirit and the power to forgive sins. Thomas was not present and said he would not believe the other disciples. When Jesus appeared a week later and Thomas was present Jesus invited him to put his finger in the small wound and his hand in the bigger wound so that he would believe. Thomas responds with the powerful words “My Lord and my God”. Those are words we can repeat every time that we receive the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus, “My Lord and my God”.
I find it wonderful that Jesus was so gentle with Thomas and all of the disciples who were so hesitant to believe in his resurrection to new life. Sometimes we live like we have forgotten what it means also. I invite you now to listen to these words of Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish Sister of Our Lady of Mercy who died in 1938 and was canonized in 2000.
O greatly merciful God, Infinite goodness, today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery to your mercy, to your compassion, O God; and it with a mighty voice of misery that it cries out. Gracious God, do not reject the prayer of this earth’s exiles! O Lord, goodness beyond our understanding, who are acquainted with our misery through and through and know that by our own power we cannot ascend to you, we implore you: fill us with your grace and keep on increasing your mercy in us, that we may faithfully do your holy will all through our lives and at the hour of death. Let the omnipotence of your mercy shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies, that we may with confidence, as your children, await your final coming. . .
O Lord, I want to be completely transformed into your mercy and to be your living reflection. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, tht my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, O Lord, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the most difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, O Lord, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. . .
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful, so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. . .
May your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
O Jesus, I want to live in the present moment, to live as if this were the last day of my life. I want to use every moment scrupulously for the greater glory of God, to use every circumstance for the benefit of my soul. I want to look upon everything from the point of view that nothing happens without the will of God. God of unfathomable mercy, embrace the whole world and pour yourself out upon us through the merciful Heart of Jesus.”
These are powerful and touching words from a saint but we are all called to be saints. What can we do with our eyes, our ears, our tongue, our hands, our feet and our heart to bring about God’s kingdom and witness to the resurrection of Jesus? In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.