2nd Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy Sunday.
Today, on the second Sunday of Easter, the church celebrates the Feast of
Saint Faustina of Poland, the well-known apostle of Divine Mercy. On this
Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Faustina invites us to keep our faith, hope, and
love fixed on God. Pope Francis asks each of us to be a sign of
forgiveness and healing instruments of the Father’s Mercy and channels of
In today’s gospel, we heard that after the death of Jesus, the disciples
were living through a crisis. They were confused, disappointed, lost their
hopes and expectations, and they were living with fear in the locked room.
Jesus understood their humanness and Jesus came and stood in their midst
and offered them, “Peace be with you.” Jesus knew that in the absence of
Jesus they are living in the real world this is not a peaceful world; that
is why Jesus offered them “Peace” instead of anything else.
Today we are living in this world, which is not a very peaceful world. We
are experiencing lots of violence, hatred, persecutions, and terrorism. I
am sure we all heard of the very heartbreaking, painful, and cruel tragedy
that happened at the Easter Sunday celebration in Sri Lanka, which killed
many innocent people and affected hundreds of people. We might ask… for
what …and why …the killing of those innocent people. It was because of
their faith in Jesus and because they believe in the Risen Christ, that is
why they were in the church and celebrating Easter. What do the
terrorists want to gain from this evil action? They want to destroy
Christians and our faith!
I listened to the statement from Monsignor Pereira, who is the national
coordinator for the Sri Lankan people in Italy: He said, “We the Catholics,
Sri Lankans, and from around the world; we have to recover and heal from
this terrible situation. We, the Sri Lankans, are a very calm, quiet, and
simple people because we have the background of the Buddhist culture and we
are contemplative and we are very silent. We are a peaceful and religious
people so we do not want to fight against our enemies and we have to pray
to God and we can pray for our enemies; we are Christians so we have to
love our enemies.” What a powerful and peaceful message from the Monsignor
In today’s gospel, Jesus showed His mercy to “doubting Thomas.” The
Risen Lord appeared to the disciples but Thomas was not there. When Thomas heard
about the resurrection, he refused to believe it. Thomas said: “Unless I
feel the nail prints in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks and
put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” This shows more than his
unbelief but Thomas’ courageous faith and intimate relationship with
Jesus. Thomas loved Jesus and he knew that Jesus loved him; so, he wanted
to see and experience Jesus, personally. This is not like the other
disciples, who were in fear inside a locked room when they saw Jesus.
Thomas was ready to come out of the upper room of fear and confusion, with
its safety and security; he was ready to experience Jesus personally and
share Jesus’ divine experience with others.
The dynamic faith of St. Thomas the Apostle is a great example for our own
lives. We must come to know and experience Jesus personally and
intimately. Let us have the courage of our convictions to share our faith,
as St. Thomas did. We are not to keep the gift of faith locked within our
hearts but to share it with others. Let us remember the words of Saint
Pope John II: “Every believer in this world must become a spark of
Jesus appeared to His disciples and showed His wounds. When Jesus was on
the cross, Jesus’ wounds were signs of failure but now after the
resurrection of Jesus’ wounds are signs of victory and signs of hope. By
showing His wounds, Jesus wants to teach the disciples that they will be
going to face sufferings and crosses, which will lead them to victory.
Also, Jesus’ wounds remind us that when we face sufferings, confusions,
fear, doubts, and disappointments, we don’t want to run away from these but
there will be victory and new life.
As a community of believers, we are here in this church with our own
perfections and imperfections, beliefs and unbelief, wholeness and
brokenness. Thomas — When he put his finger into Christ’s wounds, he
personally experienced the Lord’s peace and presence. Let us see the Risen
Jesus walking by with His sanctifying wounds. Let us see The Mercy of God
incarnate in our own lives and communities. May this Divine Mercy Sunday
help us to know God’s mercy in our lives and let us share this mercy with
our brothers and sisters. Jesus is truly Risen…. Alleluia! Alleluia!