Divine Mercy Sunday
It’s about Divine Mercy today - and mercy with one another – it’s about forgiving one another as we are called to live with one another in love - as a faith community, and as a church community.
As Jesus said: ‘Peace be with you’ - and among you – peace is not about the absence of conflict, it’s the forgiveness - it’s about being able to forgive the small things in a relationship that annoy – that can make or break a relationship – and to not mention them again – the things that drive you or me nuts – the minor grievances that we allow to accumulate, we are tempted to hold on to them – withholding forgiveness and bearing grudges.
In a family or marriage we constantly need to go beyond the little things: - the love you have and are shown, the reason for the relationship - be it a marriage, a vocation, family, a friendship, the 'why' of why we are together must be invoked again and reflected upon to pick up the pieces and see the bigger picture and start over.
The all-encompassing mercy of God is what we are celebrating today, and the extent to which we 'get it' ie understand it, is the extent to which we allow it to spill over into our relationships with one another.
We must choose to accept forgiveness from God and the people we are in a relationship with. Forgiveness is a CHOICE - a decision to seek and to accept and be prepared to let go.
St Thomas had doubts about faith. We too have doubts and uncertainty - but in the area of forgiveness - that God can actually forgive me this hidden sin, this terrible thing I said or did. Jesus’ wounds revealed today remind us the price He paid but also of His willing forgiveness and mercy
Peace or shalom - the Jewish understanding was more than a simple greeting like a 'hello' or 'good day' -it was the desire that the person receiving the blessing might be whole in body, mind and spirit. Jesus then follows His peace greeting with the theme of forgiveness.
Peace is crucial. Being at peace with one another and being at peace with God are pre-requisites to living a full and free Christian life - only then will you have peace with yourself – it is hard work and a deliberate choice.
THERE IS NO PEACE WITHOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF THE JOY OF FORGIVENESS.
We all experience the feeling that we are not really deserving of forgiveness. This is worth bearing in mind in our hesitation to forgive others in turn. Power in a relationship does not lie with the person who has control (there is no real love where there is control anyway)but with The person who grants forgiveness. There are no relationships without conflict or misunderstanding.
'Peace I leave with you' are the words we hear before the Sign of Peace and these are linked with Jesus' words: 'a peace the world cannot give, that is my gift to you. Peace is also mentioned at the end of Mass : 'the Mass is ended, go in peace'
Jesus wishes PEACE at all levels of our being, and the power He confers on His Apostles today after breathing the Spirit on them is the authority to forgive in His Name.
Let us flee then to the ocean of Divine Mercy and experience once more the joy of beinig forgiven everything from our past. Then we will experience a peace the world cannot give.
Let us share that peace joy and forgiveness with the whole world.
Posted by FrJohnCobh