Today is the Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Paul tells us about the great mercy of God when he writes: “… God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:4-10).” Speaking about the mercy of God, St. Paul tells us that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom he is the foremost (see 1 Timothy 1:15).
The celebration of the resurrection of Christ is the celebration of God’s mercy towards humanity as a whole. That is why Jesus Christ, our risen Lord made so many appearances and reappearances to his apostles and disciples to bring them to faith in his resurrection. In today’s appearance to his disciples under locked doors, Jesus greeted them with peace and showed them his hands and his side dispelling their fears and bringing them joy, sending them as the Father had sent him. He breathed his Holy Spirit into them to exercise the power of forgiving or retaining the sins of people. A week later, he appeared again when Thomas was present to bring him to faith in his resurrection and declared, ‘blessed’ those who did not see but believe in him through the testimony of his apostles. The Spirit that Jesus gave to his apostles is passed on through the apostolic testimony and ministry in the holy Church. Whenever this Spirit is present, sin will be destroyed. Here, Our Risen Lord does not only show himself in his divine glory, but also in his human solidarity, offering peace to his disciples and sending them forth to bring peace to all others.
By carrying out his mandate, the disciples are called to be agents of divine mercy. St. Paul would tell us that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. For that reason, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God, because He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (see 2 Corinthians 5:19-21). The apostles carried out Christ injunction religiously. That is why today, we are told that the early Church devoted themselves to the apostles’ instruction and communal life and were devoted to the breaking of bread and to prayers. Like the early Church, let us grow in our faith in, and in obedience to the teachings of the apostles, celebrated in the Eucharistic, lived out in the communion of the saints, and so grow in our prayer life.
Looking at all that God has done for us through the resurrection of his Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, with St. Peter we thank and praise him for his graciousness towards believers, evidenced by his call to salvation and its results in believers’ lives. We praise God for giving us hope of glory and granting us transformed life in his relation to his Son, Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. Therefore, we say: “praise be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, he who in his great mercy gave us new birth; a birth unto hope which draws its life from the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… 1 Peter 1:3-9).”