REFLECTION FOR TODAY
April 11, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Jn. 20:21-23
In one of His post resurrection appearance to His disciples Jesus entrusted to them His mission of preaching the “Good News” of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation. In our gospel reference from His Eighth day appearance, He greeted his disciples with peace and breathed on them the Holy Spirit.
Our gospel reference today, teaches us that Jesus uses the Church as the earthly means of continuing His mission. It also teaches us that the Church needs Jesus as its source of power and authority, and that it becomes Christ’s true messenger only when it perfectly loves and obeys Him. Jesus gave the apostles the authority to forgive sins in His Name. He gave them the power of imparting God’s mercy to the sinner, the gift of forgiving sins from God’s treasury of mercy, in both the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Church has always proclaimed the mercy of God for centuries through the Word of God and the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. our gospel reference also reminds us that the clearest way of expressing our belief in the presence of the Risen Jesus among us is through our own forgiveness of others. We can’t form a lasting Christian community without such forgiveness. Unless we forgive others, our celebration of the Eucharist is just an exercise in liturgical rubrics.
Today, we celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy, one way the Church celebrates God’s mercy throughout the year is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Finding time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is another good way to receive Divine Mercy. Scripture’s command, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” demands that we show mercy to our fellow human beings always and everywhere. We radiate God’s mercy to others by our actions, our words, and our prayers. It is mainly through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that we practice mercy in our daily lives and become eligible for God’s merciful judgment.
The message of Divine mercy is that of love and peace. Jesus greet the disciples with peace, and He told St. Faustina that “mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. (Diary 300). The feast of Divine mercy was officially instituted by Pope John Paul II in 2000. As we seek Divine Mercy, we are called to be merciful by practicing corporal and spiritual works of mercy
Reflect, today, upon this beautiful providence of God in bringing forth His message of mercy. Allow His providential methodology to not only inspire you but also to greatly encourage you to immerse yourself in the messages given to us from Jesus through Saint Faustina. Try to commit yourself to reading these messages so that, through them, God’s providence will be able to come to fruition.
Most merciful God, You are The Divine Mercy, You are Mercy Itself. Help me to continually ponder this glorious gift of Your Mercy in my life. May the inspired writings of Saint Faustina especially be a gift to me so that their messages will bring forth Your mercy more fully in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.