The indescribable gifts of Divine Mercy...
Reflections on the readings for the Second Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday (April 19, 2020): Acts 2:42-47; PS 118:2-4,13-15, 22-24; 1 PT 1:3-9; 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.
“The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord."
As we continue to celebrate the glory of Easter, we hear in St. John’s Gospel about the Risen Jesus meeting for the first time with His Apostles. On the evening of that first Easter Sunday, they were gathered behind locked doors. Suddenly, Christ was there. These men must have been terrified and confused, first by Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion and then by hearing Peter and John’s account of what happened at His tomb. And surely all except John must have felt guilty for abandoning Christ. While they were truly happy to see Him again, they may well have wondered – and worried – what He would say to them. “The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said…, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’” (John 20:20-23). Instead of reproach, Jesus offered the Apostles peace, and instead of expressing disappointment, He told them to carry on His own mission.
The Son of God held back nothing from these, His closest disciples. He brought them the Holy Spirit and the sacrament of reconciliation to share with others. Not only for the Apostles but also for all of us who follow our Lord, He sends a wealth of blessings. He does everything possible to help us embrace our faith in Him. Starting with Baptism when we turn from sin and receive His mercy, He never leaves us. Our Savior grants us new gifts and opportunities every day to experience His love and to offer it to others. By entrusting ourselves to Him we gain the ultimate mercy – eternity in the presence of our loving Lord who offered His life for us. This is the Divine Mercy He asks us to treasure always, especially in these difficult days for our country and our world.