Remember singing the chorus of the old hymn, “Faith of our fathers, holy faith, we will be true to thee till death”? Today’s readings echo this sentiment of loving and cherishing the gift of faith. When we read our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the author shares the early followers’ simple, joy-filled lives and fervor to be faithful. We read they are filled with awe, and they ate their meals with exultation. This reading gives us the feeling of their exuberant faith in Jesus. It also offers us a model of how to live as a Christian.
Can people see this joy in us? Do we emit happiness because we are believers of Jesus? During this Easter-tide, I am renewed in faith and contemplate in wonder, His glorious and saving act. I long like a child, to be one of the women peering into the empty tomb. I think our challenge is to keep this sense of joy, as life “happens” around us. Our Gospel reading for this Sunday is also a lesson about having faith, faith even if one hasn’t seen Jesus in person.
“Doubting Thomas “is a relatable person, isn’t he? I think we can see ourselves in his reaction to the Apostles’ personal encounter with the Risen Lord. I know, at times, I have prayed but continued to worry – which reflects a possible doubt, on my part, that my prayer will be answered. Have you had these moments too? And yet, there really is no cause for our worry. Our Lord reappeared to the Apostles when Thomas was present, a merciful act from Jesus. He forgives Thomas for questioning the credibility of the others and gives him a second chance to believe. Jesus, always the giver of gifts and devoted friend to us all. He forgives us of our weak human nature and extends his mercy. Fitting reading for this Sunday, because it is Divine Mercy Sunday.
Divine Mercy Sunday is Jesus once again giving us another chance to be with Him in Heaven. Jesus revealed Himself to a poor, uneducated and very religious Polish nun named Faustina Kowalska. Her confessor suggested she should write all Jesus told her in the many visitations she had from Him. This priest also helped her fulfill the request of Our Lord, to have an image of Divine Mercy painted. Please look for this image in our Church. Remember the red rays emanating from Christ’s heart represent His death and love for us, and the white rays are those of water to wash away our sins.
Under the figure of Jesus are the words of faith, “Jesus I trust in You.” Perhaps if this prayer of Divine Mercy is new to you, you will research and recite it as a tool of your own faith and salvation? The mercy of God comes when a sincere confession of sin is made. We must see our own faults, ask for His mercy, and be reconciled to both Him and each other. As the second reading reminds us, “Although you have not seen Him, you love Him…you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Let us stay faithful, be merciful and say with sincerity, “Jesus, I trust in You.”