Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May 1st, 2011 - Divine Mercy Sunday

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio


Acts 2:42-47  

". . . Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread . . . And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved"

Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24   
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
1 Peter 1:3-9 
". . .  while you may have to suffer through various trials . . .  your faith, more precious than gold . . .  though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

John 20:19-31  
(Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
(Remembering doubting Thomas in this reading, also)  Jesus tells us, "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

His Mercy Endures
We are children of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Through this wondrous sign of His great mercy, the Father of Jesus has given us new birth, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

Today’s First Reading sketches the “family life” of our first ancestors in the household of God (see 1 Peter 4:17). We see them doing what we still do - devoting themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, meeting daily to pray and celebrate “the breaking of the bread.”

The Apostles saw the Lord. He stood in their midst, showed them His hands and sides. They heard His blessing and received His commission - to extend the Father’s mercy to all peoples through the power and Spirit He conferred upon them.

We must walk by faith and not by sight, must believe and love what we have not seen (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the devotions the Apostles handed on.

Notice the experience of the risen Lord in today’s Gospel is described in a way that evokes the Mass.
Both appearances take place on a Sunday. The Lord comes to be with His disciples. They rejoice, listen to His Word, receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. He offers His wounded body to them in remembrance of His Passion. And they know and worship Him as their Lord and their God.
Thomas’ confession is a vow of faith in the new covenant. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we can now know the Lord as our God and be known as His people (see Hosea 2:20-25).
This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (see Revelation 4:11). And in every Mass on earth we renew our covenant and receive the blessings Jesus promised for those who have not seen but have believed.

In the Mass, God’s mercy endures forever, as we sing in today’s Psalm. This is the day the Lord has made - when the victory of Easter is again made wonderful in our eyes.

You may listen to Scott Hahn's reflection here!

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