Sunday 8 April 2018

Second Sunday of Easter Sunday 2018 Divine Mercy Sunday

Second Sunday of Easter Sunday 2018
Divine Mercy Sunday

This is the Sunday of many names, it is known as:
          Second Sunday in Easter
          Low Sunday
          Thomas Sunday
          Sunday of Divine Mercy
And to be honest I am a little late to the whole Divine mercy thing. The parish I was at prior to St. Agnes did not have much focus on it. By saint Agnes has this large painting that was done as a girt for a previous rector.

(Divine Mercy)

For over a year now I have been praying an audio version of a merging of the Divine Mercy with a Rosary by Shane Kapler Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet both the book and eBook have links to download supporting audio files. I love praying along with Shane on the audio files. But now a look at this week's Sunday readings. 

First Reading Acts 4:32-35
Responsorial Psalm 118: 2-4, 16-18, 22-24 Response 1
Second Reading 1 John 5:1-6
Gospel John 20:19-31

If you look back at last week's readings, we continue from where we left off. The responsorial Psalm is 118 again, in fact this week's overlaps significantly. This week the response is verse 1:
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever."
And that ties into all the names this Sunday has had traditionally and that are used today. Today can be considered the reminder of the first community mass. The disciples are gathered behind locked doors and Jesus visit them. But Thomas was not there, we do not know why, but he was absent and would not believe. The reading goes on and 8 days later Jesus again appears to them gathered on the first day of the week. Jesus instructs Thomas to put his hand in his side and feel the holes in his hands. 

(Doubting Thomas Painting c. 1988)

Would we have believed the witness of our friends? Or would we have said as Thomas, 'Unless I put my fingers in the wounds of his hands, or my hand in his side I will not believe?' But in many ways, we are all Thomas, we might believe that Jesus rose from the dead, we might believe that he dies for us. But do we believe the teachings of his church, do we live them out to the best of our ability? Are there some we ignore? Do we pick and choose? Do we believe it is a privilege to attend mass and do so at least weekly? Do we believe Jesus cares when our car breaks down and we do not have the money to fix it? Or when the job we thought we would love ends up being a drain on us emotionally and physically? Do we believe when we lose a job? Have a child struggling with illness? When we ourselves encounter illness, pain or suffering?

It is so easy to judge Thomas in this weeks reading, but we need to look at all the times we ourselves are Thomas, and in those moments, we need to turn to Jesus and respond as Thomas did 'My lord and my God'. 

And that is my prayer for you the readers this week, that when we find ourselves acting like Thomas we turn back and trust and rely on God. That we rely on Mary's aide, that we turn to prayer, that we focus on Jesus and say like Saint Faustina Kowalska 'Jesus I Trust In You'

May you have a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday, or may you be blessed on the day you read this reflection.

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