Saturday, April 11, 2015
2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER (Divine Mercy Sunday)
April 12, 2015 - 2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER (Divine Mercy Sunday)
Cycle B, White
Acts 4:32 – 35 / 1 Jn 5:1 – 6 / Jn 20:19 - 31
First Reading: Acts 4:32 – 35
The whole community of believers was one in heart and mind. No one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but rather they shared all things in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, for all of them were living in an exceptional time of grace.
There was no needy person among them, for those who owned land or houses, sold them and brought the proceeds of the sale. And they laid it at the feet of the apostles who distributed it according to each one's need.
Second Reading: 1 Jn 5:1 – 6
All those who believe that Jesus is the Anointed, are born of God; whoever loves the Father, loves the Son. How may we know that we love the children of God? If we love God and fulfill his commands,
for God's love requires us to keep his commands. In fact, his commandments are not a burden because all those born of God overcome the world. And the victory which overcomes the world is our faith. Who has overcome the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus Christ was acknowledged through water, but also through blood. Not only water but water and blood. And the Spirit, too, witnesses to him for the Spirit is truth.
Gospel: Jn 20:19 – 31
On the evening of that day, the first day after the Sabbath, the doors were locked where the disciples were, because of their fear of the Jews, but Jesus came and stood in their midst. He said to them, "Peace be with you"; then he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples kept looking at the Lord and were full of joy.
Again Jesus said to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." After saying this he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained."
Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he replied, "Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
Eight days later, the disciples were inside again and Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch out your hand and put it into my side. Resist no longer and be a believer."
Thomas then said, "You are my Lord and my God." Jesus replied, "You believe because you see me, don't you? Happy are those who have not seen and believe."
There were many other signs that Jesus gave in the presence of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; believe and you will have life through his Name.
Today, the Octave of Easter Sunday, the Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. From instructions in apparitions of the Jesus to Polish nun St. Faustina Kowalska (1905 - 1938), St. Pope John Paul II designated the Octave of Easter as Sunday of the Divine Mercy in 2000: "I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul will know about it."
We honor and beg for God's mercy. Mercy is given to us through the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. God is ready to extend his mercy to anyone who asks. We recognize the cost of mercy: it comes at the cost of the Cross.
God's mercy is available to us all the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days each year. At the bottom of the picture of Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina are the words, "Jesus, I trust in you." This is something we do not do very well. In daily life we tend to trust more in ourselves, in other people and even in money and material things than we do in God. This is sad when we consider the promises God has made to us about forgiveness and mercy, about eternal life with him in heaven.
The problem for many of us is our lack of faith in God. In our Gospel reading we hear Thomas, "Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." In his mercy Christ appears again to his disciples with Thomas present, "Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch our your hand and put it in my side. Resist no longer and be a believer." At Thomas' confession, "You are my Lord and my God," Jesus speaks to all of us, " Happy are those who have not seen and believe."
We see and live God's mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance. On Easter Sunday evening at Jesus' appearance to his disciples he said, "Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained." (Jn 20: 22b - 23) Our sins, repented and confessed in the Sacrament of Penance, are forgiven by Christ through the Church and its authorized priest, just as he had promised to his disciples on Easter Sunday.
The Lord asks us to trust in his word and his promises. We do not have proof but we believe and trust because Christ said so: we look at Jesus of the Divine Mercy and say in faith, "Jesus, I trust in you."
The unconditional love of God, his Divine Mercy, is given, always available and waiting for us. The one unforgivable sin is to think that our sin is too great for the mercy of God: Judas who betrayed Jesus did not trust in his mercy; Peter denied Jesus three times, repented and was forgiven.
The parables of the Prodigal Son, the Good Shepherd and the lost coin are all assurances of God's Divine Mercy: "Jesus, I trust in you."
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
JEPHONEY A. DUBLIN
LEIZEL APRIL J. EMPEDRADO
JERRY KUA (FOR SPEEDY RECOVERY)
FR. J. CESAR R. MARIN, SJ (PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION)
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Bernardo Santiago Jr.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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