Divine Mercy Sunday
April 24, 2022 •
Divine Mercy Sunday - this day our Lord wants us to focus on His Mercy which is manifested first and foremost in His Sacraments. There can be no relationship with God, no love, no sharing between Him and us, if there is not first the forgiveness of sin. There is no mercy, there is no hope of anything else.
All of the sacraments, ideally, are oriented towards that mercy. The very first sacrament all of us receive is baptism, through which we are forgiven of sin. Original and personal sin - washed away.
Those of us who were baptized as infants only had original sin, but then we grew up and started having personal sin. But Jesus thought of that and he gave us confession or reconciliation, so that we could approach Him once more under the sacrament of the priesthood and receive His mercy.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples after rising from the dead, after first telling them to be at peace, and giving them His peace, He said this: "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, Whose sins you retain are retained."
Why would our Lord give the power of reconciliation to the Apostles at this moment?
He was able to do it now because salvation had been won. He's died and He's risen. Now is the time for forgiveness of sins. But He also gives it to them at this unique moment because it's the most precious gift He could offer in the new life of the Church. The power to forgive sins in His name.
The Gospel message is very simple: Repent and believe.
Repent of what? Of your sins which you have committed against God's laws and His teachings. Believe in what? Believe in Jesus Christ Who can forgive you of those sins.
That's the crux of the entire Gospel message. Our Lord wants us to have that same peace which He offered to the Apostles on the day of His resurrection. He wants us all to have that peace, but without the forgiveness of sin it is not possible.
And all of you know this. All of you know this. . . . .
No matter how many times you sin, or bad those sins may be, He's already suffered enough and won more than enough grace, to cleanse you of your sins and forgive you. That's it.
In fact, when He was dying, as God, in His Divine intellect, He thought of you. Individually. He thought of every sin you have committed, not only up to this moment, but every single one you will commit for the rest of your life on earth. And He said to his Heavenly Father, "I die for that."
That is the mercy of Christ.
Acts 5:12-16; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; Jn 20:19-31
Homily begins at 17:26