Divine Mercy Sunday: Gospel – John 20:19-31
St. John Paul II established the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
In his encyclical Dives in Misericordia (“rich in mercy”), JPII wrote that Jesus makes God’s mercy “incarnate and personifies it” (2). Expressing the Father’s love and mercy thus becomes “the fundamental touchstone of His mission as the Messiah” (3).
This is especially visible in the Paschal Mystery: “In His resurrection, Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection,” proving that the Father’s love “is more powerful than death” and “more powerful than sin” (8).
Mercy in itself, as a perfection of the infinite God, is also infinite….Infinite are the readiness and power of forgiveness which flow continually from the marvelous value of the sacrifice of the Son. No human sin can prevail over this power or even limit it. On the part of man, only a lack of good will can limit it, a lack of readiness to be converted and to repent.
And yet even when we put up obstacles, the Lord still seeks us out, and offers us a way to trust in Him.
We see this clearly in today’s Gospel passage about “doubting Thomas,” which speaks to us in three important ways, according to Benedict XVI:
First, because it comforts us in our insecurity; second, because it shows us that every doubt can lead to an outcome brighter than any uncertainty; and, lastly, because the words that Jesus addressed to him remind us of the true meaning of mature faith and encourage us to persevere, despite the difficulty, along our journey of adhesion to him.
The figure of Thomas shows us that we have “the right, so to speak, to ask Jesus for explanations” —
Let us be brave enough to say: ‘I do not understand you, Lord; listen to me, help me to understand.’
Question for reflection: When has the Lord brought His mercy home to me in a personal way?