Through our faith in Him we have life – and mercy – in His name
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Divine Mercy offers us peace, joy, and salvation.
This Sunday venerating the Divine Mercy falls most appropriately on the Octave of Easter Sunday. Only through the profound sacrifice of Christ’s life for His people and then the resplendent wonder of His rising from the sepulcher can we appreciate the meaning of His love and mercy for all people. Twenty years ago, on April 30, 2000, Pope St. John Paul II declared that the universal Church would celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. This was the same day that he canonized St. Marie Faustina Kowalska whose many visions of Christ revealed His desire for His boundless mercy to be honored and revered. Indeed, He specifically asked for this day to be celebrated.
As we see so plainly in today’s liturgy, God’s mercy has been venerated throughout the Scriptures. First, the Psalms remind us that His mercy endures forever, then in Peter’s letter we hear: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:3-4). Divine Mercy offers us peace, joy, and salvation. Christ asks us to depend on Him always, to rely on His truth and to accept His commitment to our everlasting well being. Moreover, He wants us to share His compassion and mercy with all we meet. We have not seen our Redeemer face to face, in the way His first disciples did so long ago, yet we also truly believe in Him. And, holding firmly to His gift of merciful redemption, we cry out with St. Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”
Suggested missionary action: In these challenging times, let us remember to cherish Divine Mercy which enables us to cling to our Savior. And let us remind others of this great gift from the Risen Lord.