Monday, 20 April 2020

Divine Mercy Sunday

Our ancestors in the faith did what we still do—devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, meeting to pray and celebrating “the breaking of the bread.”

The Apostles saw the Lord as he stood in their midst and showed them his hands and sides. They heard Jesus’ blessing and received his commission—to extend the Father’s mercy to all peoples through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We walk by faith and not by sight; we believe and love what we have not seen (2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the teaching and liturgy that the Apostles handed on and the early Church Fathers developed with guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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 as they re-present the one final and complete Sacrifice worshipping Christ the author of our salvation. This is the Divine Mercy of God come to us in the life-giving Body and Blood of our Lord.

Thomas’ confession is a vow of faith in this new covenant sealed by the blood of the Lamb of God. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we know the Lord as our God and are known as the people of God (Hosea 2:20–25).

This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (Revelation 4:11). At every Mass 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 the Psalmist affirms. This is the day the Lord has made; the victory of Easter is again made present and it is wonderful in our eyes.

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