I hope you had a blessed Easter, even if you could not be physically present at Mass and receive the Eucharist.
The Sunday after Easter has been designated “Divine Mercy” Sunday because our Gospel reading presents Jesus instituting the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a great sign of God’s mercy, by breathing on His disciples and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” No matter what we do, if we are truly sorry and confess our sins, the all merciful Father is waiting to forgive us.
Over the many years of hearing confessions, I have been struck many times by how we ourselves can block the full effect of God’s almost incomprehensible mercy, if we don’t follow these two steps:
Often it is not what we did that makes us miserable but our own inability to accept God’s forgiveness and forgive ourselves. When we can’t do those things, we are stuck. When we can accept God’s forgiveness and forgive ourselves, then we put the past behind us and move on. And you know what? The more we can accept God’s mercy and forgive ourselves, the easier it will be for us to forgive others, bringing peace both to ourselves and those around us.
On this Divine Mercy Sunday, let us thank God for the gift of His mercy and forgiveness and ask for the grace to be able to accept it and forgive ourselves.
As we hear in our second reading from the first letter of Peter, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That, my friends, is the great message of Easter.
Let us support each other in prayer