Reflections - April 23, 2017

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”  1 Peter 1:3-4.
 
Today the Church celebrates the Divine Mercy.  This celebration invites us to reflect on the merciful love of the Lord Jesus, alive and risen, manifested in our daily life.
 
The readings show us the Mercy of the Risen Christ, who invites the Apostles to forgive in the Sacrament of Confession:  “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained”.  Jn. 20:23.  You only need to be repented of your sins.  The Mercy of the Risen Jesus is also manifested in the disbelief of Thomas who said:  “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”.  Then the Lord appeared to him and with compassion told him:  “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”.  Mercy overcomes the disbelief and Thomas responded:  “My Lord and my God!”  Many express this prayer at Holy Mass when the priest raises the bread and the wine in the consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ.
 
There is another phrase that Jesus says to Thomas that might make us all reflect:  “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”.
 
Blessed are those that through Baptism are “born to a new life” and try to reflect His Merciful presence through their witness of life.  Blessed are also those believers when we come to see through our brethren the extension of the presence of the Living and Risen Christ:  “………..because when I was hungry you gave me to eat and when I was sick you visited me”… and I would add:  encourage in the faith to those who for various reasons have become cold sometimes by our own indifferences and superficiality.
Pope Francis says:  “Others are gifts.  We must recognize in others a gift from God”.
 
Let us ask the Lord, alive and merciful, for the grace to be bearers of a new life of peace, forgiveness and mercy in our family and in our community.
 
Alleluia, Christ is alive, alleluia!