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 Christ’s Peace!
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 weakens 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.!” Jesus did not offer COVID Financial Support, economic stimulus tax relief, unemployment check, postponing payment for credit cards and loans, help for seniors and retirees and many economic assistance. These are all important matters during this crisis time, but the most important thing during coronavirus pandemic we all need God’s Peace! which Jesus offered to His disciples.
Let me share with you a meaningful story: One day, the Buddha was walking from one town to another town with his few disciples. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty, please get me some water from that lake.” One of the disciples walked up to the lake and he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water, some children were playing in the water, and as a result, the water became very muddy and dark. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink? Therefore, he came back and told the Buddha, “The water in the lake is very muddy. I don’t think it is good to drink.”
So, the Buddha said, “Let us take a little rest here; then after about half an hour, again the Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get some water to drink. The disciple went back to the lake. This time, he found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear. So, he collected some water in a pot and brought it back to the Buddha. The Buddha looked at the water, looked at the disciples, and told them, “See; now the water is clean and clear, the mud settled down on its own without anyone’s effort.”
The moral message of the story is: Our minds are also like that lake water. When we get disturbed and stressed, we should just try to let it go. Give it a little time and stay calm and peaceful; it will settle down in its own way. We do not have to put in any effort to calm it down like the muddy water cleaned itself without anyone’s effort. We can make the best decision in our lives when we stay calm and peaceful. Our lives can be sometimes muddy, dirty, messy, and distracted with noises and we have to accept that these are all the realities of our lives. Peace does not mean we’re a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still we can experience peacefulness in our hearts. This is the real meaning of peace.”
During these very challenging and unsettling times, it is very important to keep our emotions and thoughts peaceful and calm and not allow unnecessary fears, anxieties, and panic to take a stronghold. Like disciples, we the global nations living the “Behind the locked room, behind the quarantine,” and experiencing the COVID-19 disaster. How can we accept a virus over which we have no control? How can we accept the loss of jobs, income, career, ambition, holidays and travel? How can we accept isolation and loss of freedom and death of our dear ones? Unfortunately, whether we like or not we have no choice but we can choose to accept the situation and keep moving forward with faith and hope. Acceptance is the bridge that leads to calm and to new beginnings as we find new ways of living our lives and making the best of the circumstances in which we find ourselves now. Like in the story of The Buddha, at present we are in the stormy and muddy water but stormy water will calm down and muddy water will settle down and clean and clear. The important thing we can do is to take these days one at a time and find your own moments of calm and peace each day. Let us care for ourselves and also support one another. Let us make the most of this opportunity to meet the Risen Lord and speak with the Lord. Let us pray and meditate: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference”.
Let us see the Risen Jesus walking by with His sanctifying wounds in each of us during these Crises of Coronavirus Pandemic. 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 and peace with our brothers and sisters. Jesus is truly Risen…. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!