Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection April 07, 2024


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R/. Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Have you believed, Thomas, because you have seen me? says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

R/. Alleluia.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

1.Why this Divine Mercy Sunday immediately after Easter Sunday?

 The motive and purpose are well reflected.  If peace is the greatest gift and fruit of Easter (as we hear it in the Gospel), that peace is the effect of mercy.  This peace will be experienced, obtained, shown and effected only in mercy.

2. In other words, mercy becomes the most concrete, authentic and effective sign and expression, the test and testimony of peace.  Indeed, peace and reconciliation were only possible thanks to divine mercy.  And peace will be possible, only because of continued mercy.

When you are merciful, you will be at peace, and when you are at peace, you will be merciful.

  • In this way, mercy is both the cause and effect of peace.
  • In short, the peace of Easter calls us to constantly experience the power of God’s mercy and our own mercy towards others.

3. What does it mean to experience mercy, both of God and of others?

  • First, it means continuing to trust in God’s mercy.
    • Never lose faith in His mercy, neither heart nor hope.
    • He who descended from heaven, in order to transcend us into heaven—will He leave us, crushed to the ground?
    • He who embraced our human frailty, to bring us to nobility – Will He abandon us to our frailty?
    •  He who accepted earthly misery, to elevate us to heavenly glory – will He abandon us, stuck in our misery?
    •  He who has gone through our struggles, sufferings and adversities – Will He refuse us to suffer alone?
    •  He who carried the cross on our behalf –  will He abandon us to carry our burdens alone?
    •  He who died for our good: will He not save us from the power and forces of death and evil?
    •  He who has risen forever for us: will He not walk, support us and strengthen us, to live a new resurrected life of faith, hope and charity, flourishing in joy and peace?
    • As Saint Paul exclaims: our sin may abound, but hHs grace will always superabound.
    • Our fragility can pull us down, but His strength will always lift us up.
    •  His faithfulness is always greater than all our infidelities.
    •  His power is always stronger than all our weakness.
    •  His light is always brighter than all our darkness.
    •  His holiness is always purer than all our impurities.
    •  His healing is more relieving and restoring than all our wounds and infirmities.
    •  His guidance is clearer and more guiding than all our misguidance.
    •  His feeling is warmer and more endearing than all our resentment and rancour.
    •  His tenderness is more touching than all our harshness.
    •  His warmth is hotter and more vibrant than all our indifference and lukewarmness.
    •  His conviction is more firm and stable than all our hesitations and compromises.
    •  His humility is more compelling than all our pride and arrogance.
    •  His emptying of self is fuller than all our selfishness.
    •  His altruism is more impacting than all our selfishness.
    •  His generosity is broader than all our greed and accumulation.
    •  His integrity is more authentic than all our hypocrisy and dishonesty.
    •  His mercy is more powerful than all our aggressions, retaliations and revenge.
    •  His love is more inspiring than all our hatred.
    •  His forgiveness is more comforting than all our sins and refusal to forgive.
    •  His nobility is more urgent than all our vulnerability.

 Therefore, trust in His mercy.  Trust in the power of His mercy.  Then experience the same mercy towards others.

4. This means that We show the same rules of God’s mercy, which we listed just above.

  •  Let us be faithful, even in the midst of infidelity.
    •  Let us be stronger even among all the weaknesses.
    • Let us be brighter even in the midst of all the darkness.
    •  Let us try to be more holy even among all the wickedness.
    •  Let us be more healing even in the midst of all the hurt.
    •  Let’s try to be more guided even among all the misleading ones.
    •  Let’s be more tender even in the midst of all the rudeness.
    •  Let us be warmer even amidst all the coldness.
    •  Let’s try to be more convinced even among all the compromises.
    •  Let us be more humble even in the midst of all the arrogance.
    •  Let us sacrifice more even in the midst of all the selfishness.
    •  Let us be more sharing among all the accumulation.
    •  Let’s be more honest even among all the manipulations.
    •  Let us try to be more merciful even amidst aggression and violence.
    •  Let’s try to be more loving even amidst resentment and hatred.
    •  Let’s try to be more patient even amidst anger and irritation.

Be merciful as your heavenly Father is.

 Let mercy train your hearts and life, so that peace reigns in your hearts and life.

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