Gospel Reflection: Sunday of Divine Mercy

Reading 2

1 Jn 5:1-6

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.


Jn 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.


Today’s readings highlight a consistent theme: belief.

Belief is both a gift from God and the responsibility of a Christian. It is possible only by God's grace and the interior help of the Holy Spirit, yet it remains an authentically human act that is not contrary to human freedom or reason.

Belief encompasses two aspects: accepting as true what our minds cannot fully comprehend, and trusting in Jesus Christ while submitting ourselves to His authority.

In today’s Second Reading, we hear John’s assertion, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God”. Through our belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, we become children of God.

For this reason, Jesus commands the Apostle Thomas, “do not be unbelieving, but believe.” He goes on to bless those who believe without seeing. But the Lord is patient with the ones that He loves, and we see this quality in Him in today’s Gospel.

Jesus greets Thomas for the first time after resurrecting with “Peace be with you.” He doesn’t immediately correct Thomas for his unbelief, but instead, He gives him His peace. He then invites Thomas to touch His wounds, fulfilling his request. Only then, after allowing Thomas to confirm that it is truly Him, He teaches Thomas the value of believing.

Today, we celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy, established following Jesus' revelation to a Polish nun, Saint Faustina Kowalska of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, during the 1930s. He gave her the title of "secretary” of His mercy, entrusting her as a messenger of His merciful love for every soul. He shared with her that His desire was that everyone would know and trust in His mercy.

He commissioned St. Faustina to create a painting of Himself with two rays emanating from His heart—red symbolizing blood and white symbolizing water—accompanied by the inscription, "Jesus, I trust in You."

My dear brothers and sisters, the Lord yearns for our trust in His mercy because our salvation depends on it. When we trust in His mercy, we believe as true that which our minds cannot fully grasp and affirm our belief in His benevolence and forgiveness. Let us take advantage of the plenary indulgence offered to us on this day, and approach Him with trust, confident in His power to pardon and sanctify us.

Let us together “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.”

Please be assured of my prayers before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert


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