Fr Vincent's reflections on Divine Mercy Sunday 2021
On this Divine Mercy Sunday, Jesus offers his disciples and us his “peace.” The peace of Jesus is not the peace of this world, so understanding what Jesus offers is necessary for us to receive this great gift made possible by the Resurrection.
Watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on Divine Mercy Sunday 2021
Read the script:
Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy) (April 11, 2021)
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.
The Grace and Peace of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. R/. And with your spirit.
On this Divine Mercy Sunday, let us pray:
God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. R/. Amen.
Please pause this video and retrieve your Bible so you can follow along.
The Gospel today is John 20:19-31.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
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.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him,
“We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
The Gospel of the Lord. R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Alleluia! Jesus is risen from the dead! Alleluia!
“Peace be with you.” The greeting of Jesus to his disciples upon entering the room where they were hiding. “Peace be with you.” Jesus said it twice. And again, a week later when Thomas is with them.
What do these words mean for you and me? Jesus knows our lives are chaotic, and we want, we need, peace. This is the gift which Jesus offers. In fact, in John’s Gospel, at the Last Supper, Jesus already offered his “peace” to the apostles. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27) So this gift and greeting are very important.
The Risen Christ came to the apostles in there time of need and offered them what they needed most. Even to Thomas, who doubted, Jesus made the same offer, plus the reassurance of his resurrection. Jesus does the same for you and me.
Even though the Church teaches that Easter takes eight days to be fully celebrated, and this Second Sunday of Easter is meant to be celebrated as if it is still the day of the Resurrection, you and I in the “real world” know that Easter was a long week ago, and our lives have moved on to the everyday reality of responsibilities and toil and concerns, and all that works in us against the joy and excitement of Easter. So, we are more like Thomas, one week later, wondering how true is it that Jesus is risen.
So, Jesus comes back today, one week later, and offers the same greeting and gift: peace! And, boy, do we need it! But Jesus tells us that his peace is not the same as the peace of the world. This is truly significant, and this is why so many fail to grasp the peace of Jesus, because they are looking for worldly peace!
What’s the difference? The peace of the world is personal contentment and satisfaction; it is getting everything I think I need to make me happy. If there is any worry, or struggle, or want, and we think peace is missing. The peace of Jesus is confidence in God’s presence. There are still fears and sacrifices, there are still disappointments and emotional confusion. But we are bolstered by the knowledge that Jesus has ultimately conquered this world and established an eternal relationship with God. He has made Heaven attainable, so that we can let go of this world and its expectations, because our happiness will never be found here. We are destined for greater and can survive anything here because of our future with Jesus.
So, when you feel anxious about the limitations of this world, know that happiness here is not what Jesus offers. Rather, his victory over sin and death gives us a peace greater than any wants or expectations here and now. Knowing God is with me now, and anticipating the joy of Heaven gives me a confidence that helps me make it through all the problems of this life.
And now, on this final day of the Easter Octave, I would like to offer you once more the Solemn Blessing of Easter:
The Lord be with you. R/. And with your spirit.
Bow down for the blessing.
May almighty God bless you
through today’s Easter Solemnity
and, in his compassion,
defend you from every assault of sin. R/. Amen.
And may he, who restores you to eternal life
in the Resurrection of his Only Begotten,
endow you with the prize of immortality. R/. Amen.
Now that the days of the Lord’s Passion have drawn to a close,
may you who celebrate the gladness of the Paschal Feast
come with Christ’s help, and exulting in spirit,
to those feasts that are celebrated in eternal joy. R/. Amen.
And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/. Amen.
Live in the peace of Christ, Alleluia, Alleluia! R/. Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!