Jesus finds the apostles in 'hiding',immobilized by the terrible realization of the death of their beloved leader.They may be thinking that they are next. The disciples feel that their world is out of control. Everything seems lost, confused,mixed up,but Jesus assures them that such is not the case as he appears and says PEACE BE WITH YOU. In fact, he is there to offer them the gift of deep and unshakable confidence. In spite of dire appearances, all is well. Though all seemed lost on the cross, there is a hope in the Resurrection, and he invites them to TRUST.
And Jesus gives them an avenue to that trust, because he entrusts the apostles with a sacred mystery. That ministry is reconciliation. Look at the Gospel. Jesus breathes on the apostles. In the Scripture. where else does God breathe? At creation,he breathes into the nostrils of man, giving life. And now, he breathes again, telling them, "receive the Holy Spirit,whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you retain they are retained." HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS! ONE OF FEW REFERENCES TO GOD OR JESUS BREATHING ON PEOPLE,AND IT IS IN THE CONTEXT OF FORGIVENESS. The apostles here are given the power and authority to forgive sins. And from that forgiveness comes healing.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. It is on this day that we ponder the mercy, the forgiveness,the compassion of our God. On this Sunday, we remember the compassion of Our Lord for us through the writings of St. Faustina Maria Kowalska, a Polish nun, 1905-1938, and canonized on April 30,2000 by Pope John Paul 2. St. Faustina received visions of Our Lord, who proclaimed his mercy for his people. She wrote her communication with him down in a diary,and it is published worldwide for all to read.
We ponder his presence with us in a world where we feel lost, confused, or chaotic. Jesus told St. Faustina that this Feast of Mercy would be very special day when "all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened".
About the feastday "Divine Mercy Sunday", Jesus said "..tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon the souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet...Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy".
Our Lord said "to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon you soul.." and "every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul".
As we celebrate the Resurrection today, we are confident in the mercy of God. It is His mercy and grace which will see us through this life when, like the apostles, we feel that everything is mixed up and chaotic. It is His mercy that will strengthen us and give us PEACE. As we celebrate the Resurrection, I pray that through the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we might know the hope and trust that Our Lord calls us to, and receive his comfort and peace in our hearts. Jesus, I trust in you.
May each of us strive to put our complete trust and our hope in the resurrection of Our Lord,so that we might be filled with hope, peace, and joy.
Feast: October 5
"Pure love ... knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love - love, and always love."
- Diary of St. Faustina, 140
“Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you.
As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.” - Diary of St. Faustina, 1488