We find ourselves living in a time and place where we need more deeply, more profoundly the Mercy of God. Pope John Paul designated this Sunday the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
What does Mercy means the suffering of the heart. That is to be compassionate with others. A deep identification with the suffering and challenges that others experience. What we learn is that Love is so great that it has a profound impact on our compassion, our mercy toward others. We enter into and journey with those who suffer. The Divine Mercy is ultimately a great love that flows from his Sacred Heart. It is this vision of St. Faustina, to experience the Divine Mercy of Jesus is to be infused with the great love of the Risen Jesus Christ.
We continue in the Easter celebration to share and communicate to others the Divine Mercy of God. The principle way we experience this mercy is in the sacrament of reconciliation or confession. This Divine moment of grace experienced in confession is the most profound way we can enter into Christ’s Divine Mercy for us.
Todays Gospel we see the great power of Peace that Christ alone can give and his mercy extended in the forgiveness of sins.
[Jesus] said “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.
i n Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
In this Gospel we see truly what Christ offers us. In the midst of fear and doubt, in the midst of confusion his mercy breaks through. He comes into the midst of his disciples as he does us and he says “Peace be with you.” The Aramaic word שלמה, shlamah is truly full of meaning. It is more than the absence of violence, but rather it is a deep abiding presence that God gives. שלמה. is all that one needs is provided, one rests in knowing that there is no suffering, no want, no concern, a deep abiding peace in all ones needs are met. What an experience of God’s grace.
Having given them his Divine abiding presence He breaths on his disciples and imparts his very self, the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Here in this imparting upon the Apostles the Spirit authority to share the grace and power of God’s Mercy in reconciliation. “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” This is the great gift of Divine Mercy, God’s love ever abounds, God’s willingness to pour out from His Sacred Heart love and mercy beyond all understanding. Church this is what we have access to. So as we continue in the joy and walking in the power of resurrection, we are brought to the very seat of Mercy in Jesus Christ.
Trust in His love and Mercy. St. Faustina shared with us that the gravest sin we can commit is not trusting in Jesus’ mercy for us. Stand in the Power of Mercy and share that mercy with the gift of your life for others.
Rev. Stephan Brown, SVD