An Invitation To Love

 

 

Divine Mercy of Christ

Today, I would like to explore with you the principles and beliefs that flow out of The Feast of Divine Mercy and, I believe, all of us, that we will see their applicability to the sacrament of Matrimony.

So what is Divine Mercy Sunday? It is a new feast inaugurated in 2000 when Pope John Paul II raised Sister Faustina to sainthood. And it commemorates the teachings imparted to her by Jesus Christ  on the Divine Mercy.

The teaching begins by inviting us to embrace Christ’s enthronement on the Cross, his Resurrection and his multiple appearances to his seemingly disillusioned and doubting disciples as nothing, but the greatest of acts of love and divine mercy towards us that He could have exhibited.

Christ’s disciples particularly those who lived through the events of Palm Sunday to Easter needed the power of Christ’s Peace to calm their fears and to be strengthened in the supernatural gifts of faith and fortitude through the Holy Spirit., wherever they were in hiding. Today again in John 20:19-31 the Risen Lord appears to the restless and frightened disciples with blessings of Peace (Shalom)! He breathed on them and commissions them with the power to forgive sins, “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jon 20:23).

On a day like this, Divine Mercy Sunday, I believe that Our Lord encourages us to be merciful to one another, in our homes, families and communities, and to continue to appreciate the gift of the sacrament of reconciliation in the Church. These too have such great applicability to the sacrament of matrimony. He asks us in the sacrament of matrimony to always be merciful toward one another, to always show our caring for each other and when we do err and we do stray from our core Christian beliefs, he asks us above all to be reconciled with each other and then to be reconciled with our God. Never a day should pass when we do not forgive each other and to be Christ to one another.

But He also reminds us to never forget those who have passed. To remember the Holy Souls in purgatory who yearn to be with their Savior. In fact, he imparted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to Sr. Faustina so that we could always both remember and pray for them.

The Church also reminds us today that The Risen Lord is Divine Mercy itself, and this is what God the Father imparts to each of us and invites us to respond to in Faith.  The resurrection of Jesus is no mere resuscitation of a corpse, nor is it a grand deception by the disciples to hide the Body of Jesus after His burial, nor was it a consequence of a great delusion.  Something profound was encountered by the disciples when they encountered our Lord.  Something that radically altered their lives and changed them from being fear-filled followers to be bold witnesses to the Risen Lord.  Divine Mercy is not limited to forgiveness of our sins, as important as that is.  It is also about God showing us that with faith in the Risen Lord we can share in His life now – a new life –in which; we become a new creation full of grace and purity.  We are restored in our communion with God in such a way that we are enabled to continue what Jesus began in His public ministry, and we are capable of doing  “greater things” because we are filled with the Risen life of Jesus,

Think for a moment about those words because they echo the sentiments expressed by Pope Francis. He calls all of us to overhaul our lives and be open to a radical conversion to the risen Christ – to give all to Jesus and serve the poor and marginalized, which was the mission of Jesus in the world. He calls us all of us– young and old, rich and not-so-rich, healthy and ailing, to examine our lives every day against the standard of what do we do for the less fortunate among us. Here in this beautiful and vibrant country, he reminds us that, walking among us, are so many, so many, that need the mercy of Christ exhibited toward them. Every one of us – in our own way – needs to be missionaries of Christ. Everyone one of us needs to be Christ not just to each other but particularly to those that live on the fringe of society. Here in Boquete, there are a number of organizations that allow us to do that.

Finally, we need to remember on Divine Mercy Sunday that it was from the wounded side of our Lord that the waters of Baptism and the Blood of the Holy Eucharist flow to all of us for our cleansing of sin and bathing in the Divine Mercy of our Lord.  And when we are cleansed through the sacrament of reconciliation, when we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ received in the Eucharist then we need to fulfill those sacraments by living out the mission of Christ. Our Christianity cannot begin and end as we pass through the doors of this or any Church.

Besides encouraging us to be “masters of divine mercy”, Christ invites us like Thomas to touch his wounds (John 20:19-31); In so doing Thomas’ wounds of disbelief and faithlessness were healed; wounds that replaced lack of peace with Peace of Christ; wounds that replaces the spirit of darkness with God’s Spirit of Light. Thomas touches wounds of love, unity; wounds that would empower communion, the sharing (konoinia) and the preaching of the early Christian Community.

Like Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Cleopas, and the Eleven Disciples we all have our moments of doubt, uncertainties, confusions, disbelief, hopelessness, selfishness and frustrations.  Conscious also of those moments we might have acted uncharitably or mercilessly towards our neighbors,  or even hurt them through our forgetfulness, we are invited today to dip our hands into those wounds of Christ!  And to be filled with faith and strengthened by Christ,  who is our wounded healer!

The Eucharist we shall soon receive provides us a fitting opportunity to dip our fingers into these wounds of Christ.  As we come up today to receive, May we be strengthened with mercy, love (1 John 5:1-6), hope (1 Pet 1:3-9), faith and unity and to be abl eto say with Thomas “my Lord and My God.”

And may our families, streets, neighborhood, churches, and workplaces continue to be true channels and conduits for the transmission of Divine Mercy and faith in the Risen Christ through us. Pray God that we allow these words to touch our hearts and embolden our actions in Your name.

The teaching begins by inviting us to embrace Christ’s enthronement on the Cross, his Resurrection and his multiple appearances to his seemingly disillusioned and doubting disciples as nothing, but the greatest of acts of love and divine mercy towards us that He could have exhibited.

Christ’s disciples particularly those who lived through the events of Palm Sunday to Easter needed the power of Christ’s Peace to calm their fears and to be strengthened in the supernatural gifts of faith and fortitude through the Holy Spirit., wherever they were in hiding.

Today again in John 20:19-31 the Risen Lord appears to the restless and frightened disciples with blessings of Peace (Shalom)! He breathed on them and commissions them with the power to forgive sins, “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jon 20:23).

On a day like this, Divine Mercy Sunday, I believe that Our Lord encourages us to be merciful to one another, in our homes, families and communities, and to continue to appreciate the gift of the sacrament of reconciliation in the Church. These too have such great applicability to the sacrament of matrimony. He asks us in the sacrament of matrimony to always be merciful toward one another, to always show our caring for each other and when we do err and we do stray from our core Christian beliefs, he asks us above all to be reconciled with each other and then to be reconciled with our God. Never a day should pass when we do not forgive each other and to be Christ to one another.

But He also reminds us to never forget those who have passed. To remember the Holy Souls in purgatory who yearn to be with their Savior. In fact, he imparted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to Sr. Faustina so that we could always both remember and pray for them.

The Church also reminds us today that The Risen Lord is Divine Mercy itself, and this is what God the Father imparts to each of us and invites us to respond to in Faith.  The resurrection of Jesus is no mere resuscitation of a corpse, nor is it a grand deception by the disciples to hide the Body of Jesus after His burial, nor was it a consequence of a great delusion.  Something profound was encountered by the disciples when they encountered our Lord.  Something that radically altered their lives and changed them from being fear-filled followers to being bold witnesses to the Risen Lord.  Divine Mercy is not limited to forgiveness of our sins, as important as that is.  It is also about God showing us that with faith in the Risen Lord we can share in His life now – a new life –in which; we become a new creation full of grace and purity.  We are restored in our communion with God in such a way that we are enabled to continue what Jesus began in His public ministry, and we are capable of doing  “greater things” because we are filled with the Risen life of Jesus,

Think for a moment about those words because they echo the sentiments expressed by Pope Francis. He calls all of us to overhaul our lives and be open to a radical conversion to the risen Christ – to give all to Jesus and serve the poor and marginalized, which was the mission of Jesus in the world. He calls us all of us– young and old, rich and not-so-rich, healthy and ailing, to examine our lives every day against the standard of what do we do for the less fortunate among us. Here in this beautiful and vibrant country, he reminds us that, walking among us, are so many, so many, that need the mercy of Christ exhibited toward them. Every one of us – in our own way – needs to be missionaries of Christ. Everyone one of us needs to be Christ not just to each other but particularly to those that live on the fringe of society. Here in Boquete, there are a number of organizations that allow us to do that.

Finally, we need to remember on Divine Mercy Sunday that it was from the wounded side of our Lord that the waters of Baptism and the Blood of the Holy Eucharist flow to all of us for our cleansing of sin and bathing in the Divine Mercy of our Lord.  And when we are cleansed through the sacrament of reconciliation, when we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ received in the Eucharist then we need to fulfill those sacraments by living out the mission of Christ. Our Christianity cannot begin and end as we pass through the doors of this or any Church.

Besides encouraging us to be “masters of divine mercy”, Christ invites us like Thomas to touch his wounds (John 20:19-31); In so doing Thomas’ wounds of disbelief and faithlessness were healed; wounds that replaced lack of peace with Peace of Christ; wounds that replaces the spirit of darkness with God’s Spirit of Light. Thomas touches wounds of love, unity; wounds that would empower communion, the sharing (konoinia) and the preaching of the early Christian Community.

Like Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Cleopas, and the Eleven Disciples we all have our moments of doubt, uncertainties, confusions, disbelief, hopelessness, selfishness and frustrations.  Conscious also of those moments we might have acted uncharitably or mercilessly towards our neighbors,  or even hurt them through our forgetfulness, we are invited today to dip our hands into those wounds of Christ!  And to be filled with faith and strengthened by Christ,  who is our wounded healer!

The Eucharist we shall soon receive provides us a fitting opportunity to dip our fingers into these wounds of Christ.  As we come up today to receive, May we be strengthened with mercy, love (1 John 5:1-6), hope (1 Pet 1:3-9), faith and unity and to be able to say with Thomas “my Lord and My God.”

And may our families, streets, neighborhood, churches, and workplaces continue to be true channels and conduits for the transmission of Divine Mercy and faith in the Risen Christ through us. Pray God that we allow these words to touch our hearts and embolden our actions in Your name.

 

 

 

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