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Sunday, April 19, 2020

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Second Sunday of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday

Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 1:3-9
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
John 20:19-31

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the difference a week makes?

"A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came." —John 20:26

The octave of the first Easter was disappointing and uneventful for the apostles. On the evening of the day of Jesus' Resurrection, Jesus sent His apostles to proclaim His Gospel (Jn 20:21), but eight days later they were still paralyzed by fear and behind locked doors (see Jn 20:26). You can see why Thomas, not present a week earlier, did not believe that Jesus was risen from the dead. However, the Lord had mercy on the apostles after they were unfaithful to Him so many times. He came to them once again and was even willing to subject Himself to Thomas prodding His wounds (Jn 20:27).

Possibly the octave of Easter has been disappointing for you also. You may have even sinned against the risen Lord. You may be concealing Jesus' Resurrection more than revealing it. Nevertheless, Jesus comes to you once again with rays of mercy coming from His wounded heart.

Jesus gives us mercy primarily by commanding us to "receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22) and receive a new Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" (Jn 16:13). He will make us true to the Lord and not unfaithful. The Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of love in us (Gal 5:22), and we will stop our sinful rejection of the Lord and our disobedience to Him. By Jesus' mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be witnesses for the risen Christ and truly celebrate Easter. "Lord, have mercy. Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, make Divine Mercy Sunday one of the most important days of my life because of my love for You.

Promise:  "They devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction and the communal life." —Acts 2:42

Praise:  God "saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy" (see Ti 3:5).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 24, 2020

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