Gospel/Readings and reflection 11.4.2021

Second Sunday of Easter
Sunday of Divine Mercy

Lectionary: 44

Reading I

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Responsorial Psalm

R.  (1) Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R.  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:
R.  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R.  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R.  Alleluia.

Reading II

Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
Blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, 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.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

REFLECTION

Saint Faustina writes in her Diary:

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, 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 for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened (Diary #699).

It was Jesus Himself, through the mediation of this humble and holy religious sister, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament, Who instituted the Feast of Mercy that we celebrate today. In addition to the above quote from her Diary of Divine Mercy, Jesus spoke on numerous other occasions about His desire that this feast be instituted as a universal Feast of Mercy to be celebrated throughout the world on the eighth day of Easter every year.

From the time of her death in 1938, the private revelations from Jesus to Sister Faustina began to be read and shared. At first, the Feast of Mercy was celebrated by only a few who knew of these messages. As these private revelations began to circulate further, there were some within the Church who questioned their authenticity. Thus, on March 6, 1959, the writings of Sister Faustina were put on the “forbidden” list by the Holy Office, Rome. However, in 1965, with the permission of the same Holy Office, the Archbishop of Kraków, Poland, Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, began an informative process in which new light was shed upon Sister Faustina and her writings. This process concluded on April 15, 1978, with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome, issuing a new decree permitting the spread of Sister Faustina’s writings and the new devotion to The Divine Mercy. Then, by the providence of God, just six months later, the Archbishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła, was elected pope, taking the name Pope John Paul II. A little over two decades later, on April 30, 2000, Sister Faustina was canonized a saint in a ceremony presided over by Pope John Paul II. During her canonization, the Holy Father also instituted the Feast of Mercy for the universal Church to be celebrated on the eighth day of the Octave of Easter every year.

The providence of God is truly amazing. God started with this humble cloistered nun. He allowed His private revelations to be scrutinized by the Church and ultimately hand picked one of the greatest popes our Church has ever known to introduce these private revelations to the world. It’s amazing to ponder the process by which these revelations went from the silent cloister of Sister Faustina to the universal Church. One thing this process truly tells us is that God must deeply desire that we immerse ourselves in the messages of Divine Mercy given through Saint Faustina. It was by God’s providence that these messages slowly moved from the silence of the cloister in Kraków, Poland, to the universal Church beginning in the year 2000. Though it may be tempting to think that these messages are old and outdated, we should realize that God knew how long it would take for them to become instituted as a universal feast for all. Therefore, though these messages were first revealed before 1938, it was God’s plan that they would especially be needed and read starting in the year 2000 and beyond. The message of Divine Mercy is especially for us today.

Reflect, today, upon this beautiful providence of God in bringing forth His message of mercy. Allow His providential methodology to not only inspire you but also to greatly encourage you to immerse yourself in the messages given to us from Jesus through Saint Faustina. Try to commit yourself to reading these messages so that, through them, God’s providence will be able to come to fruition.

Most merciful God, You are The Divine Mercy, You are Mercy Itself. Help me to continually ponder this glorious gift of Your Mercy in my life. May the inspired writings of Saint Faustina especially be a gift to me so that their messages will bring forth Your mercy more fully in my life. Jesus, I trust in You

Prayer for Trust in The Divine Mercy of God

Most merciful Jesus,
I turn to You in my need.
You are worthy of my complete trust.
You are faithful in all things.
When my life is filled with confusion, give me clarity and faith.
When I am tempted to despair, fill my soul with hope.

Most merciful Jesus,
I trust You in all things.
I trust in Your perfect plan for my life.
I trust You when I cannot comprehend Your divine will.
I trust You when all feels lost.
Jesus, I trust You more than I trust myself.

Most merciful Jesus,
You are all-knowing.
Nothing is beyond Your sight.
You are all-loving.
Nothing in my life is beyond Your concern.
You are all-powerful.
Nothing is beyond Your grace.

Most merciful Jesus,
I trust in You,
I trust in You,
I trust in You.
May I trust You always and in all things.
May I daily surrender to Your Divine Mercy.
Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy,
Pray for us as we turn to you in our need.
Amen.

From Catholic Daily Reflections.com