"This is the day the Lord has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.” Psalm 118:24
Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47
First Letter of St. Peter 1:3-9
Gospel according to St. John 20:19-31
by Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer, OSB
The Sunday after Easter was designated as Divine Mercy Sunday, back in 2000. It is fitting that Easter follows with this Sunday where we focus with greater attention on the mercy of God towards us. Back on the Third Sunday of Lent, we reflected on these two sentences from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans: “For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.”(Romans 5) This is what mercy is about for each one of us. Christ showed us great mercy.
Mercy is a gift that we all hope we will receive at the right moment, when we deserve punishment or justice for an action of ours. If you have read Victor Hugo’s epic book, Les Miserables, you find that he writes with great depth and passion about the virtue of mercy. In the book, mercy comes when the characters least expect it. Mercy comes as a refreshing, bubbling fountain, bringing new life and new vistas of what is possible for the human soul in regards to forgiveness and restoration. Mercy is when we are at our best in living another human being.
Mercy. What a beautiful word! Maybe the most beautiful word in the human language. When have you received mercy in your life? When have you given it as a gift to another?
God first loved us. God first had mercy on us. This Easter season is the perfect time to remember mercy, received and given. Let us be merciful and let us be thankful.
“And finally, never lose hope in God’s mercy.” Rule of St. Benedict 4:74
“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me,
says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!”