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April 15, 2012

 

Second Sunday of Easter – Also Divine Mercy Sunday

Saint for the day: Blessed Caesar de Bus (1544-1607)

Scripture readings for today's liturgy:

Acts 4:32-35

Psalm 118

I John 5:1-6

John 20:19-31

“Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.”

 As a young altar boy I can remember the Triditine Mass which began with a “Confiteor” and then went immediately to the “Kyrie.” Three Kyrie’s; three Christe’s; three Kyrie’s said alternately between the priest and the server. You had to be very careful not get confused with the number of “Kyrie’s” and “Christe’s.”

That’s how the Mass always began. Asking for the mercy of the Lord and Christ.

When the late Pope John Paul II instituted this feast of “Divine Mercy” I must admit that I was a little chagrinned that my favorite “Doubting Thomas Gospel” might be supplanted by the piety of this Polish Nun. Now, however, I can see how the Resurrection of Jesus and God’s infinite divine mercy are connected so powerfully on this Second Sunday of Easter.

When I was gowning up I must say that I thought of God’s mercy as a “breast-beating” – “woe-is-me” kind of way to begin the Mass. It was as if God took pleasure in seeing me writhe in self-pity. But now I can see God’s Mercy in a totally different frame: God has mercy on us even if we don’t ask for it and it parallels our praying of the Lord’s Prayer when we say, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Or, “give us mercy as we show mercy to others.” We often forget that and fall back into gloating over the fact that God has shown us His Diving Mercy in order that we will be able to show mercy to those around us.

So, on this Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday - we can still hear the Gospel of Jesus appearance and Thomas’ famous saying, “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.” Or, “Lord you have shown me your mercy. Help me to be merciful to those around me.” Amen!

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