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April 16, 2023– 2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) (Cycle A, Yr. I)

Community Word: Jesus Christ, the Living Hope, leads us to eternal life.
Theme: We have hope for eternal life when we believe and seek Christ’s divine mercy.
Promise: “Blessed are those who have not seen me, and have believed.” (Jn 20:29)
In the Year of the Great Jubilee in 2000, St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina Kowalska, the “great apostle of Divine Mercy.” He also approved the Divine Mercy message and devotion by declaring the 2nd Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday for the Universal Church. In extending this feast to the entire Church, St. John Paul II re-emphasized the resurrection context of Easter citing St. Faustina’s diary: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to the Divine Mercy.” He described the feast of the Divine Mercy as the Easter gift that the Church has received from the Risen Christ for all humanity.
John the Evangelist helps us grasp the value of this gift by sharing the emotion felt by the Apostles when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection. Our attention is focused on the gesture of the Master who conveys to the fearful and astounded disciples the mission of being ministers of the Divine Mercy. He shows them His hands and side bearing the mark of His passion, and tells them, “As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you,” (Jn 20:21).
Immediately afterwards, “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’” (Jn 20:22-23). Jesus entrusted to them the gift of “forgiving sins,” a gift that flows from the wounds of His hands, feet, and pierced side. From there, a wave of great mercy is poured out to all of humanity.
The Divine Mercy of Christ is the assurance of God’s immense mercy, expressing His deep love for us. He wants us to approach Him in constant prayer and repentance. God’s mercy and compassion is distinctly present in the united prayers for the sick and the dying worldwide. The prayer of the church militant, the living Christian believers, has salvific power especially on those who are suffering and going through deep crises in many parts of the world today.
God’s infinite mercy deepens our hope for eternal life. It is a human yearning that is personal and infectious. In the Apostles Creed, we declare, “I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” Likewise in the Nicene Creed, the whole Church confesses, “We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” Our hope for eternal life is strengthened in the celebration of the feast of the Divine Mercy because it encourages us to open our hearts to God’s unfathomable mercy and grace. It is by His great mercy that our sins are truly forgiven and we have new life as His children. As St. John Paul II reminds us, mercy is the greatest attribute of God.
Through His conversation with St. Faustina, Jesus assures us that all our sins will be forgiven and all punishments related to them will be completely erased if we follow His instructions (see Sr. Faustina’s Diary 699, Diary 848). He tells us that His Divine Mercy is the last hope for the salvation of mankind (see Sr. Faustina’s Diary 965, 1541). When we believe in the Divine Mercy of God, we are saved as we can claim this promise, “Blessed are those who have not seen me, and have believed,” (Jn 20:29).
Lord Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over the grave and won for us a new life and power over sin. Continue to draw us near you, to grow in the knowledge of your great love and mercy for us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and strengthen our faith in your promises. Bring peace and tranquility into our hearts amidst fear, doubt and anxiety. Give us the eyes of faith to see you in your glory and allow us to live by faith and not by sight. Thank You for Your magnificent light that continues to shine in the midst of darkness. Thank You for Your unfathomable mercy which endures forever. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. Have you prayed to Jesus, our Divine Mercy? Did you feel your prayer was answered? Share your experience.
  2. How deep is your devotion to the Divine Mercy?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    April 16, 2023 (Sun) – Acts 2:42-47/ Ps 118:2-4,13-15,22-24/ 1Pt 1:3-9/ Jn 20:19-31
    April 17, 2023 (Mon) – Acts 4:23-31/ Ps 2:1-3, 4-9/ Jn 3:1-8
    April 18, 2023 (Tues) – Acts 4:32-37/ Ps 93:1AB, 1CD, 2, 5/ Jn 3:7b-15
    April 19, 2023 (Wed) – Acts 5:17-26/ Ps 34:2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9/ Jn 3:16-21
    April 20, 2023 (Thurs) – Acts 5:27-33/ Ps 34:2, 9, 17-20/ Jn 3:31-36
    April 21, 2023 (Fri) – Acts 5:34-42/ Ps 27:1, 4, 13, 14/ Jn 6:1-15
    April 22, 2023 (Sat) – Acts 6:1-7/ Ps 33:1-2, 4-6, 18-19/ Jn 6:16-21
    “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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