Daily Reflection – Apr 23, 2017
Sunday 23 April 2017
First Reading: Acts 2:42-47
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31
Today’s Note: Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy)
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst 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!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Rejoice. (1 Peter 1:8)
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s a special day for us to reflect on and rejoice in the merciful love God has for us. It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the eternal inheritance Jesus has won for us, an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4).
We all know what mercy looks like. It’s the judge who knows you are guilty but pardons you anyway. It’s the mother who has caught you in a lie but forgives you. It’s Jesus saying, “Your sins are forgiven. . . . Go in peace” (Luke 7:48, 50). It’s the mercy that brings you “an indescribable and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8).
The Old Testament tells us about God’s merciful love. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he promised to show mercy to everyone who loves him and obeys his word (Exodus 20:6). King David sang about the Lord who “pardons,” “heals,” and “redeems” us because he is “merciful and gracious” (Psalm 103:3, 4, 8). Even the prophets, who regularly spoke about doom and destruction for the “rebel Israel,” also recalled God’s desire to pour his merciful love on his people (Isaiah 63:9; Jeremiah 3:12; Hosea 14:3; Micah 7:18).
The teaching of God’s merciful love shines even brighter in the Gospels. It runs through every one of Jesus’ parables, miracles, and teachings, until it reaches its climax on the cross, when he prays, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
Pause for a moment and picture God’s merciful love flowing into you. See yourself as the imperfect, sinful person you know you are. Now, see Jesus washing you clean and embracing you.
If we were to forget about God’s mercy, the guilt and shame of our sins could weigh heavily on us. If we were to forget that we are sinners in need of mercy, we would risk being blinded by our sins and unable to enjoy God’s wonderful fountain of merciful love. May we never forget! May we always rejoice!
“Jesus, I rejoice in your mercy! Help me become an instrument of your mercy to the people around me.”