Reflections - April 12, 2015

“Receive the holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”  Jn. 20: 22-23.
 
Today on the Second Sunday of Easter the Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday.
 
The Gospel presents to us the risen Christ manifesting himself and giving his beloved apostles a commission during forty days.
 
For Thomas it would be to take away his fears and incredulities because Thomas had left the community, perhaps by being more intelligent than the rest he thought that the resurrection was just a tale.  “If I do not put my fingers in his wounds I will not believe”.  Yet it was in the community praying that he found Christ alive and risen to love and serve Him more and for the greater glory of God.
 
It is in this community that Christ sends them to forgive sins with the power of the Holy Spirit.  “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven…..”.  Jn. 20:22.  It is from the community of our holy mother, the Church, that ordained ministers arise by the power of the Holy Spirit to carry the grace of forgiveness and salvation to all men and women who repent from their sins.
 
Jesus appears to the Apostles who are locked up and afraid and shows them His wounds and gives them His peace and offers Himself freely to His brothers who are vulnerable, wounded, weak and full of fears.  There is a teaching in the humility of Jesus when he shows his wounds, which are a sign of our redemption.  Perhaps this is a good opportunity to ask what our wounds and limits are.   Because to receive forgiveness through confession I have to admit that I am wounded by sin.  There are many wounds in our lives that need to be healed, but I need to allow Christ’s divine mercy to enter into my life to heal me so that I can relate better in my community, my family and my work.
 
Today the Divine Mercy Christ invites us to reconcile with ourselves and with our brothers and sisters through an good examination of conscience and confession.  I invite you to look up on the Internet our Pope Francis’s “Examination of Conscience”.  It is worth your time to use it to meditate and to put it into practice in our daily lives.