DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY: Reflection by Rev Fr Julian O Ekeh

Theme: THE GOD OF ANOTHER CHANCE COMES FOR YOU

(John 20:19–31)

Today, the second Sunday of Easter is the Sunday of Divine Mercy.

Today, being the eight day after the resurrection of the Lord we call to mind the great mercy of God even in our unbelief and sinfulness. We have a God who gives us chances, first, second and more chances. Do we utilize these opportunities?

The Gospel of today shows us manifestations of the mercy of God on the universal Church, in the life of the disciples, of the apostles and even in the life of Thomas the doubter. Jesus comes for you again and again to meet you in your weakness. He comes with peace and the Holy Spirit, He comes with reconciliation.

RECONCILES WITH THE RECONCILERS

The disciples had lost their friendship with Christ on account of their betrayal at different levels, disappointments, ingratitude, denials, abandonments etc. They were filled with guilt, sorrows, shame, fears, troubles, regrets and feeling that they have failed. They lost their peace of mind. Jesus came in as they shut themselves because of fear of the Jews.

JESUS STOOD

Jesus stood and watched Peter, watched all the apostles and remembered their involvements in breaking His heart. He watched and saw them feel very sorry. He saw what was lacking in them; peace. They never expected it but Jesus surprised them with it in His merciful love. He said: Peace be with you. This means: “I have made peace with you on the cross”, “ I have forgiven you”, “We are friends once again”, “ Let’s forget about the past”, “Let’s move on” ‘Udo ka mma’ (peace is better). Jesus gave them yet another chance to experience His mercy and compassion.

JESUS MAKES THE APOSTLES RECONCILERS

Jesus did not only get reconciled with His apostles He went forward to make them reconcilers. He entrusted the message of reconciliation into their hands. He gives them His Spirit, the Spirit to bind and lose, the Power to forgive sins and even to retain them. He restored the ‘Godbreathedness’ lost in Adam once more. He breathed upon them and filled them. Thus, the community of the apostles present got both the forgiveness of Christ and the power to forgive.

MERCY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL- THOMAS

For some reasons, Thomas was absent when Jesus visited the community of the apostles. For that, he doubted and wouldn’t believe that Jesus is risen, that He who had these wounds, pains, scars, who died such a shameful death could just come back to easily forgive and restore his betrayers. He challenged God and Jesus came just for him. He gave him another chance of seeing Him. He gave him another chance of being forgiven, He gave him another special opportunity of touching Him. And the mercy and love of Christ amazed Him that He concluded that no man can do these. His eyes opened to see the God in Christ and He proclaimed: My Lord and my God!

JESUS COMES TO YOU WITH MERCY

You see, Jesus comes to us with mercy, true love and compassion. He knows we can’t do without it. He knows how weak we are. He knows that we can err. He knows we are human, that we are made from humus, that we are fallible. But He doesn’t want us to perish in the dust of sin, of shame, of immorality, of corruption. He raises us in the Sacrament of reconciliation, nourishes in communion and wants us to confess our sins and receive His mercy whenever we fall. He wants to hear us call for mercy. He hears our cry for mercy and heals us when we ask for forgiveness.

LET’S BE MERCIFUL

The Lord Jesus wants us to be filled with His mercy and show mercy to others. He wants to live in love. He wants us to forgive one another. Jesus wants us to have mercy on people around us. Jesus wants us to feel with the poor and the needy; those in need of our spiritual gifts, our moral support, our forgiveness, our peace and our reconciliation.

Let us be merciful like our heavenly Father.

LET US PRAY

We ask for your mercy Oh Lord. We can’t do without it. Plunge us into the ocean of Your Mercy. Forgive us our sins, help us to take the chances You offer us in the sacrament of reconciliation seriously. Pardon us Lord, Give us Your peace and fill us with Your Spirit, restore to us the joy of our salvation through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Happy Easter/ Divine Mercy Sunday (Yr B)

Rev Fr Julian O Ekeh

Io Sono Chima Isaac Chinemerem, un sacerdote dell’arcidiocesi Cattolica di Owerri, Nigeria. Io studio Comunicazione nella Università della Santa Croce, Roma.