‘Let us allow our hearts to be filled with His mercy!’
Reflections on the readings for the Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday (April 11, 2021): ACTS 4:32-35; PS 118:2-4,13-15,22-24; 1 JN 5:1-6; 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.
“Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20:28)
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter as well as the Sunday of Divine Mercy. In the Gospel according to St. John, we hear about the events on the evening of Christ’s Resurrection when, despite locked doors, He appeared in the midst of the Apostles. He showed them the marks from His wounds and, after all the sadness, loss, and guilt that they had felt since His torture and crucifixion, He offered them peace. More than that, Jesus blessed them with the gift of the Holy Spirit and the power to forgive sins. The joy and gratitude these men felt at His generous mercy must have been overwhelming. Except for John, they had abandoned our Lord, but now He was calling them to take on the mission for which He had prepared them. But one was absent. When they later told St. Thomas about meeting the Risen Christ, he refused to believe them until he had the proof of his own eyes and hands. On the following Sunday Thomas was there when Our Lord joined them. “Jesus came…and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see My hands, and bring your hand and put it into My side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.’ Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:26-28)
The Lord showed His loving kindness to Thomas, just as He had to the others. He did not let their fear, selfishness, or cowardice keep Him from loving them and entrusting His Church to their ministry. As we revere the Divine Mercy today, we can pray along with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “Dear brothers and sisters, let us accept the gift of peace which the Risen Jesus offers us; let us allow our hearts to be filled with His mercy! In this way, with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, we too can bring these Easter gifts to others. May Mary most holy obtain this for us.”
Suggested missionary action: We can thank our Savior for the mercy He offers in so many ways, including the gift of Confession. And we can particularly consider it while preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.