By Fr. Joel de los Reyes
Divine Mercy Moments
All through Holy Week we focused on Jesus suffering and death. We cannot help but feel pity on Him who was rendered a guilty verdict to be crucified although innocent of the accusations against Him. Today we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and Christians rejoice at His conquest of death.
Meanwhile His apostles were hiding in fear of the Jews, then Jesus suddenly appeared to them although the doors were locked, and said to them: “Peace be with you as the Father has sent Me, so I send you.” The He breathed on them saying: “Receive the Holy spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained.” Jesus’ breathing on the apostles recalls God’s breathing on man. “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7). Undoubtedly from with His own breath to them the apostles were animated from fear to courage.
It’s amazing of the Lord showing His mercy to the same people who abandoned Him in the Garden of Gethsemane to secure their lives, including His very close friends, Peter, James, and John who could not even spend an hour with him in His agony? And Peter who earlier swore that he will never deny Him ended up denying Him nonetheless. All of them with the exception of John fled the scene of the Crucifixion.
Jesus gives them peace as if nothing happened. There was no blaming, no bickering, no pointing of fingers, no recalling of faults, but an outpouring of mercy and forgiveness. He said, “Peace be with you.” Thomas who was absent and doubted Jesus appearing earlier to the other apostles was at this time, present. The mercy of the Lord shown to Him effected a complete turn- around of himself from doubt to faith. “My Lord and my God,” he said.
Furthermore, Jesus not only forgives and forgets, He puts them back as before, commissions and empowers them. Is there any episode in the Gospel to demonstrate more clearly the mercy of God in the meaning Resurrection? Jesus rising from the dead is a victory of the Divine Mercy giving new life and hope to all sinners. Jesus said to St. Faustina, “Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.” (Diary 301.)
On the flip side, someone said that mercy heals the deepest hurts. When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace on earth. Be kind for you’ll never know what the other person beside you is suffering from. We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges. Every day is a new beginning with God, a renewal and extension of life. Those who engage in the works of mercy have no fear of death (Pope Francis).
If you are a good person, don’t waste time proving it. I heard someone say that a beautiful face is nothing if you have an ugly heart. Mother Teresa once said that if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. The best place to be in the world is in someone’s prayer. Amen on that folks! Happy Easter to all!