“Let the house of Israel say, ‘His love endures forever.’ Let the house of Aaron say, ‘His mercy endures forever.’ Let those who fear the Lord say, ‘His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 118:2-4).
Reflections on the readings for Second Sunday of Easter (April 24, 2022): 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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Our Lord yearns for us to be with Him for all eternity. And it is by accepting His generous gift that we truly become His disciples.
Today we continue on our journey through Eastertide. This Second Sunday after the Feast of our Lord’s Resurrection is also recognized as Divine Mercy Sunday. Pope St. John Paul II instituted this feast in 2000. It is based on the appearances of Jesus to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, in the 1930’s. The title Divine Mercy calls us to recognize the incalculable mercy that Jesus bears in His loving, wounded heart for every human being. He wants us to embrace His mercy, to revere it, and to share it with others. St. John Paul II said that “Today the Lord also shows us His glorious wounds and His heart, an inexhaustible source of light and truth, of love and forgiveness. … Through the mystery of this wounded heart, the restorative tide of God’s merciful love continues to spread over the men and women of our time. Here alone can those who long for true and lasting happiness find its secret.”
The readings for today reveal the inexhaustible compassion that God has for all people, ultimately expressed in the Crucifixion, death, and Resurrection of His Son. From the book of Revelation, we hear about St. John’s vision of Christ in His glory. “When I caught sight of Him, I fell down at His feet as though dead. He touched me with His right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld” (Revelation 1:17-18). All four Gospels are filled with examples of Jesus’ mercy for those who are wounded in body and soul. He also taught all who would listen with words of compassion and hope. Yet, it is in the sacrifice of His life for our redemption that His mercy is completely realized. Our Lord yearns for us to be with Him for all eternity. And it is by accepting His generous gift that we truly become His disciples. We need to believe in Him; we need to reciprocate His love. And, even as we worship and thank Him through prayer, we also need to offer His mercy to all we meet so they, too, come to know and love Him.
Suggested missionary action: In venerating the Divine Mercy, we can pray regularly: “O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You.”