Divine Mercy Sunday
Scripture Reading: John 20:19-31
Today, being the second Sunday of Easter is celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. Jennifer Rey wrote that, “the words ‘mercy’ and ‘merciful’ appear around 150 times in Scripture. Hesed, or tender mercy, is God’s greatest characteristic in the Old Testament”. Pope Francis has time and again expressed his deep desire for this time to be a moment when all the faithful can have an “actual experience of mercy.” Now he has given us a new gift by publishing a book, The Name of God is Mercy, that can help us live to rediscover the presence of God and His fatherly tenderness.
St. Ambrose says, “Mercy, also, is a good thing, for it makes men perfect, in that it imitates the perfect Father. Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy.” No wonder St. John Chrysostom wrote, “Dost thou wish to receive mercy? Show mercy to thy neighbour.” St. Thomas Aquinas says that “Mercy is the fulfilment of justices not the abolition.”
With a pastor’s heart, the Pope put us in front of mercy – Jesus’ most important message: “Mercy is God’s identity card.” Everything in Jesus’ life speaks of the Father’s mercy, and paying attention to His words and deeds, we can come to know the difference between our human logic and the logic of God. He wrote: “No human sin can limit God’s mercy. God is never tired of forgiving; it is human beings who at times get tired of asking for forgiveness. Instead the Lord, like a father who awaits His children at the doorway, is patient and always waits for us so that He can enact His forgiveness and His charity within us.”
As disciples, we are sent forth into the world to live in the logic of mercy and selflessness, to become bearers of mercy for all our fellow human beings. Beloved, the gospel of mercy will make no sense if believers are not merciful to those around them. We cannot preach to others about the love of God when we harbour hatred and prejudices in our hearts. Let us turn to God in prayer, asking for the grace to be merciful to others: “Father I pray that You would light a spark of true forgiveness and mercy in my heart towards all those that have harmed or hurt us, whether deliberately or unintentionally, knowing that it is not only Your will for us to show godly mercy towards others but also that we become equal beneficiaries when our hearts are flooded with mercy and forgiveness. Root out, I pray, any lingering bitterness or malice that is lurking within my heart and may the godly fruit of mercy and love bud and blossom into the true fruit of righteousness – to Your honour and glory. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.”
MASS: WHITE Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118:2-4.15c-16b.17-18.22-24(R.1); 1 Jn 5:1-7; Accl Jn20:29; Gosp Jn 20:19-31 DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
1. Take the “Prayer for a Merciful Heart” in Daily Strength Devotional (DSD), Section A.
Exercise: Decide today to be an ambassador of Mercy.
Meditation: Isa. 56:1.