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Homily April 2, 2024

2 nd.Sunday of EASTER (Year B) (April 7, 2024)

Divine Mercy Sunday (Acts 4:32-35, I John 5:1-6, John 20:19-31)

Introduction: The readings for this Sunday show us our need for God’s Divine Mercy, which is offered to us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of our sins, and through each celebration of the Sacraments (all instituted to sanctify us), when we receive them in trusting Faith, and in the state of Grace. The opening prayer addresses the Father as "God of everlasting Mercy." In first section of the Resp. Psalm (Ps 118), we repeat three times, “His mercy endures forever!” This means, God revealed His mercy, first and foremost, by sending His only begotten Son to become our Savior and Lord by His suffering, death, and Resurrection.

Scripture lessons (exegesis): The 1 st . reading (Acts 2:42-47) tells us how the early Church grew every day because of the acts of mercy -- sharing, sacrificial agápe love -- practiced by the early Christians. In the 2 nd . reading (1 Pt 1:3-9), St. Peter glorifies God, the Father of Jesus Christ, for showing us His mercy by granting His Son Jesus Resurrection from the dead and a glorious Ascension into Heaven, thus giving us the assurance of our own resurrection. Today’s Gospel vividly reminds us of how Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a sacrament of Divine Mercy. Then the risen Lord gave his Apostles the power to forgive sins with the words, “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain, they are retained" (Jn 20:19-23). Add to this, presenting the doubting Thomas’ famous profession of Faith, “My Lord and my God,” the Gospel illustrates how Jesus showed his mercy to the doubting apostle and emphasizes the importance of Faith for everyone.

Life message: We need to accept God's invitation to celebrate and practice mercy in our Christian lives: One way the Church celebrates God’s mercy throughout the year is through the Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Finding time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and Devotion to the Divine Mercy, are yet another good way to receive and give thanks for Divine Mercy. And last but not the least, it is through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that we practice in our daily lives the Mercy we have already received and become eligible for God’s merciful judgment.

Conclusion: Let us, therefore, ask God for the Faith that culminates in self-surrender to God and leads us to serve those we encounter with agape love. For, living/active Faith enables us to see the risen Lord in everyone and gives us the willingness to render to each other our loving service. St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) presents it this way: “If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve. Only then we put our love of God into action.”


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