Gifts of peace, mercy...and new life
Reflections on the readings for the Second Sunday of Divine Mercy (April 28, 2019): ACTS 5:12-16; PS 118:2-4,13-15,22-24; REV 1:9-11,12-13,17-19; JN 20:19-31
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this Sunday after we celebrated the Resurrection of the Lord, the Gospel reveals Him as He encountered His Apostles.
“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.’” (John 20:19-21) So the men who had been so close to Christ heard Him offer them peace, not merely as a greeting but as a gift. These same men who, except for John, had run away from anything to do with the one they called Master after His arrest, torture and crucifixion. What misery and shame they must have suffered. Even that evening, after they knew He was no longer in the tomb, did most of them really dare to believe that Jesus had truly risen as He said He would?
And here He was, offering them everything they had ever desired. Because Christ came back from the dead bearing truth, life and pardon in His wounded hands. Not only did Jesus share His joy with them, He confirmed their mission to go out and spread His message of mercy and salvation to the world. These disciples who had shown themselves to be so immensely fallible were still our Lord’s dear friends. He loved them and trusted them to preach the Good News, to forgive sinners and to give the rest of their lives serving the rest of His people on earth. As we also honor today as Divine Mercy Sunday, let us remember that Christ will always offer mercy to those who love Him, no matter how often we fail, if we only seek His forgiveness.