Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
The eighth day after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. I strongly believe that I survive every day of my life because of the great Mercy of God. If it wasn’t for his Mercy, I would not be able to serve him as a priest. I pray every day of my life that the Lord does not approach me as a Judge, but as my merciful loving Father. For God’s Mercy surpasses his judgment. Many of you have noticed and have asked me what it is I pray when I elevate the Body and Blood of Christ after the consecration words in the Holy Mass. This is what I pray “Lord, Have Marcy on me, a poor sinner”. I always regret those times I couldn’t be kind enough. I think our world would be a better place if all of us can possesses this divine quality, mercy and compassion. Today in the Gospel, we see Jesus showing his great mercy to his doubting Apostle, Thomas and then he gives the apostles the authority to forgive. The Gospel also emphasizes the importance of Faith in the presence of the Risen Lord of Mercy. To believe without having seen is every Christian’s experience. We are invited to receive liberation from doubts and hesitation by surrendering our lives to the Risen Lord of Mercy. Let us ask God our Father to open our hearts so that we may receive His Mercy in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Divine Mercy message is one we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC: A – Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world. B – Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. C – Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that our reception of the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive. Do you know it’s very important for us to fill our hearts with mercy and kindness? Think about this: you are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes alone and bumps in to you, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea. The point is, whatever is inside your cup will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which may have already happened or it will), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled. So we have to ask to ourselves, “What is in my cup? When life gets tough, what will spill out? Joy, gratefulness, peace, faith and humility? Or does anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions come out?
On this Divine Mercy Sunday, let us work towards filling our cups (our heart) with gratitude, mercy, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others. I would like to share with you a perfect example of Christian forgiveness and compassion in the toughest life situation. One of the most moving stories came to us on October 6, 2006, when an armed man entered an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. He chased out the little boys and lined up the 10 little girls in front of the blackboard. He shot all of them and then killed himself. Five of the girls died. After the medics and police left, the families of the fallen came and carried their slain children home. They removed their bloody clothes and washed the bodies. They sat for a time and mourned their beloved children. After a while they walked to the home of the man who killed their children. They told his widow they forgave her husband for what he had done, and they consoled her for the loss of her spouse. They buried their anger before they buried their children. Amish Christians teach us that forgiveness is central. They believe in a real sense that God’s forgiveness of themselves depends on their extending forgiveness to other people. That’s what the Mercy of God is all about. That Mercy, is why we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. I ask you again, fill your cups with mercy so mercy may be spilled out for others.
God Bless You,