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Second Sunday of Easter — April 7, 2024

Bishop’s Reflections

April 7, 2024

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Second Sunday of Easter — April 7, 2024

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, first announced by Saint John Paul II, during the canonization Mass of Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, in the year 2000.

In his revelations to Sister Faustina, beginning in 1931, Jesus asked her to make God’s mercy known to the world. With the help of Pope John Paul II, God’s message of compassion and love is now widely spread through her diary, the famous picture she had painted of Jesus that including the words, “Jesus I trust in You,” and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which is regularly recited by millions worldwide.

Jesus came to show us the mercy of God. He is the face of God’s mercy. He ate with sinners, and routinely forgave their trespasses.

The amazing thing about Jesus is that he came back to us after we had treated him so cruelly.

In the Gospel today, Jesus makes a first appearance to his disciples following his Resurrection from the dead.

They were in hiding, for fear that they might be accused of being his followers by the Jewish authorities. But, when Jesus showed up, despite the fact that the doors were locked, they were most likely even more afraid of something else. Him.

After all, they had abandoned him, betrayed him, and, for the most part, left him to die on the cross alone.

Would he curse them like he had done to the fig tree that would not bear fruit again?

No. His first word to them was, “Peace.”

Jesus knew not only their fear, but their shame. He knew their weaknesses, but he wanted to be their strength.

He forgave them, and then gave them the Holy Spirit, so that they would proclaim what they now knew to be true: Jesus was alive from the dead. He was the God of peace and mercy.

If we have sinned (let’s be honest, we have all sinned!), and we have been forgiven (I hope that we have said, “I’m sorry” to God and received the grace of absolution in sacramental confession), then we should be ambassadors of mercy.

Let us not judge others so harshly. After all, each of us has fallen short of God’s expectations, and still been lifted up by the word of Jesus to us, “Peace.”

It is because of Jesus, who consistently takes us back, that we can say, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Have a blessed week everyone. And tomorrow, remember that the eclipse will bring darkness to us in Northeast Ohio; but darkness is always temporary. Like the light of Christ, the sun will overcome the darkness — just give it time.

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