April 19, 2020 – Divine Mercy Sunday

Dearest sisters and brothers, today, the second Sunday of Easter, we celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy.  Peter in the second reading says that God in his mercy gave us a new birth through Christ’s resurrection.  As Pope Francis reminds us in the bull, Misericordia Vultus, “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy and God’s mercy is the bridge that connects us to God.  It opens our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”

The mercy of God shown to us in Jesus Christ makes demands from us.  Just like Christ told his apostles today, “as the Father has sent me, so I send you”.  We are being sent today to be the face of God’s mercy to our troubled world.  Christ in the Gospel today showed an example of his merciful heart when he invited Thomas to touch his wounds to be convinced it was him.  Like he did to Thomas, He does to every one of us showing us his compassionate heart despite our weaknesses, foibles, and failings.

Dearest sisters and brothers, today there is so much fear and doubt among many, as it was with the apostles who in the Gospel locked their doors because of their fear of the Jews.  Many people presently have locked Christ out because of fear and worry of the present Coronavirus.  Christ, out of his mercy, wants to come to you in this time of fear now.  He wants to strengthen you so that you can be the face of God’s mercy to others who are in fear as well.

First reading provides us the way to come to Christ today through the example of early Christians.  One is by listening to the teaching of the apostles and remaining faithful to the truth of our faith.  The other, is by sharing in communal life, breaking bread together, and prayer.  Our communal relationships call us to be our brother’s keeper, especially in this time of uncertainty.

We can do that by providing material benefits to them, giving cash gifts to our less privileged one’s, offering even to grocery for the elderly, reaching out to friends and neighbors through phone calls and so forth.  Above all, we are to pray for all which is the best gift we can give to others now.  Being at home provides us with more time to pray while we may not visit others, let us at least pray for them.