This Sunday we celebrate the great Mercy of God on the second Sunday of Easter that has come to be known as Divine Mercy Sunday. We celebrate the mercy of God made known to us in a particular way by Saint Faustina the polish nun.
I was sitting here a few days ago thinking that the season of Lent, Holy Week and Easter Sunday have come and gone so quickly this year and are now a distant memory. Many people think that Easter begins and ends on Easter Sunday but it doesn’t end there, the celebration of the season of Easter goes on for 50 days and ends on Pentecost Sunday. I wonder what the Apostles would think if they were to come down to us these days and find that we are celebrating the Death and Resurrection of Jesus that took place over 2000 years ago, they would be amazed especially as they thought everything was over with the Crucifixion on Good Friday.
In this Sundays Gospel reading the Apostles were still huddled together behind locked doors, pondering the shocking experience from the week before when all seemed to be lost. Then we are told that Jesus appeared to them and to assure them that He was alive. His message must have troubled them as well when he told them: “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” In the same way as the apostles were sent out we are sent out to bring his message of god’s mercy and love to other people wherever we are. Then of course there is doubting Thomas who heard the witness of the those who saw Jesus but, like so many of us today he wanted more proof. Jesus says to Thomas, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” That is a favorite quote for many of us, who have not “seen” the risen Christ in person as the disciples did. We have come to believe though we have not seen him in the flesh but he is with us in the midst of our communities through so many different people. When Jesus says to the Apostles Peace be with you the Peace he is talking about is much more than the lack of conflict.
True peace, gives us happiness, since it is built on trust in God and one another. The gospel tells us how Jesus gave his followers peace because they trusted him. In spite of the skepticism of Thomas and so many others, Jesus offers us the same peace of heart mind and soul. As we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday we remember the joy, the hope, the grief and the anxieties of the people in our time those we know and those unknown to us and we bring them to the merciful Lord. Our world is hurting so much because of the things that are happening within it with so many people at each other’s throats for so many reasons. May all of us be witnesses to the love and mercy of the Gospel as we bring the caring face of God’s mercy to the people in our own communities wherever we are called to be.