Reflection for Sunday April 11, Second Sunday of Easter Sunday of Divine Mercy

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FIRST READING
“One heart and soul.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:32-35)

The company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not any one needy among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   psalm118:2-4.15c-16b and 17-18.22-24 (R.1)
R/. Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.
Or: Alleluia.

Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His mercy endures forever.” R.

“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty deeds;
his right hand is exalted.
The Lord’s right hand has done mighty deeds.”
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord punished me, punished me severely,
but did not hand me over to death. R.

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done,
a marvel in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice in it and be glad. R.

SECOND READING
“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. ”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 5 : 17)

Beloved: Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the one begotten by him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA John 20:29
Alleluia. You believed, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“Eight days later Jesus came.”
* A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 20: 19 – 31)

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “You have believed because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The second Sunday of Easter is traditionally observed as Divine Mercy Sunday. In one of the visions of Saint Faustina Kowalska, Jesus said to her, “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.” We see traces of this Divine Mercy in the gospel reading of today. Jesus appears to the disciples and appoints them to become agents of his mercy. The most practical way of showing this mercy is in the forgiveness of sins. This is at the heart of the Easter message. Jesus died and rose again that he may take our sins away. “Divine mercy becomes the Easter gift the church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity. “Jesus forgives our sins, but also empowers us to forgive others the peace with which he greeted his disciples will reign in our lives and society if we all have this mind of Jesus in forgiving one another.

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