Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul

Reflection for Mercy Sunday, 2022

One week ago we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus.  Today we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. In the Gospel reading at Mass this weekend, we hear the story of ‘Doubting Thomas,’ who was not with the apostles when Jesus appeared to them in the Upper Room Easter Sunday night and who refused to believer that Jesus had risen.  In today’s story Jesus appears to them in the same room one week later, and Thomas is now with them.  Jesus invites him to feel the marks of the nails in His hands, and to place his hand in His side. Thomas falls to his knees, and he believes: My Lord, and my God (Jn. 20:19-31).

This Sunday has been designated as Mercy Sunday. Think on this: during His Passion and beyond, the apostles had abandoned Jesus, denied Him, refused to understand His word that He would rise again, locked the doors of their hiding place even against the possibility of His visiting them in the upper room, argued with some who had seen Him alive, and failed to recognize Him when He appeared to them. And yet, there was no word of reproach, no questioning their loyalty, no chastising them for all their failures as His closest friends.  Only mercy and kindness. Only gentleness to put them at ease: Do you have anything to eat? It is I. Do not be afraid. Come and have breakfast.  Peace be with you.

 

It’s hard for us to imagine a greater forgiveness than this. Jesus does not hold their sin against them. He comes to reassure them of His love and to show Himself as their intimate friend, as though none of their denials or heartbreaking behavior ever happened.

Henry Nouwen, writing about forgiveness, says, “We must be willing to forgive one another for not being God.”

In this Gospel reading, I realize that God forgives us for being human.

Can we do less than He does?

And can we not rejoice in the miracle of His mercy whenever we ask Him?

Have a Blessed Mercy Sunday.

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“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

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