April 18th: Divine Mercy Sunday
Dear Parish Family,
Our Psalm today proclaims “His mercy endures forever.” It is comforting indeed to all of us who are sinners to know that God’s mercy is beyond anything that we could ever comprehend this side of heaven. But simply understanding this is not always enough. So often in matters of faith, we struggle to fully accept what we cannot fully comprehend with our limited abilities. This is the story of St. Thomas the Apostle. The words of Thomas speak to us of a journey of faith, a journey that reaches its apex in the endless mercy of our Lord. Thomas speaks just four times in the Gospels. But if we take his four quotes in sequence, they show that it means to come to the Faith.
The first time we hear from Thomas is when Jesus tells the Apostles that Lazarus has died and that he wants to go to Judea. Jesus and his disciples had just left Judea and the people there had threatened to stone him. Thomas was not very excited about going back. Thomas responds to Jesus in frustration, Saying, “Let us go also to die with him.” The second quote from Thomas comes after Jesus says that he is going to the Father and that his Apostles know the way. Thomas responds, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” This response is one of questioning. The third and fourth lines from Thomas are found in today’s Gospel. First he says “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” He is seeking proof before he will trust.
And the final words of Thomas are unconditional surrender, “My Lord and my God.” Four quotes depicting four emotions of a journey of faith; frustration, questioning, seeking proof, and unconditional surrender. This is the pattern when coming to faith. Our frustration comes when we, lukewarm believers, hear others speaking of their love for Christ, but it makes no sense to us. But as we open our hearts to the Lord, we begin to question. Can it be real? That questioning so often leads to doubt: Believing is hard. Give me proof. And ultimately the Lord in his goodness gives us the proof we need through confirmation in prayer or signs or a sense of his love that fills our heart. But we must always remember that it is only because of his divine mercy. It is the Lord who relentlessly pursues us. We Christians have a unique aspect to our faith—we have a God who mercifully seeks us out. This is a tremendous proof of his mercy: he does not give up on us when we are frustrated, when we question, and when we seek proof. Rather, he continues to pursue us until he can ultimately win us over. Of course, there is action needed on our part in that we must make the decision to welcome him in, but his Divine mercy is the thread that ties it all together. His mercy is so great that no sin can overcome it, and for this we give thanks today on this Divine Mercy Sunday. May the great mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ give us all the courage to say in our own lives, “My Lord and my God.” (hprweb.com)
Let us pray that For the sake of his sorrowful passion, Jesus will have mercy on us and on the whole world. May we all experience the power of the blood of Jesus in our lives.
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG