April 27, 2014

Divine Mercy

April 27, 2014:  2nd Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday

Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

  • Acts 2:42-47  They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, communal life, breaking of bread, and prayer.  Many wonders and signs were done through them.  They divided their possessions according to each person's need. The Lord added to their number.
  • Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love is everlasting."  The Lord gave me strength and saved me.  The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice.
    Tagxedo word cloud 4-27-14
  • 1 Pt 1:3-9  Blessed be God, who in mercy gave us new birth to living hope through Jesus' resurrection.  You rejoice that you're safeguarded through faith, though now you may have to suffer, so your faith may be for praise, glory, and honor.  Though you haven't seen him, you love him; though you don't see him now, you believe and rejoice as you attain salvation.
  • Jn 20:19-31  Jesus came to the disciples, said “Peace be with you,” and showed them his hands and side; they rejoiced.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.  Receive the Holy Spirit; forgive sins....”  They told Thomas (who wasn't there), “We've seen the Lord.” / "Unless I put my finger into his nail marks and hand into his side, I won't believe.”  Jesus returned a week later when Thomas was there, said, “Peace be with you,” then told Thomas, “Put your finger here, see my hands, put your hand into my side, and believe.”  Thomas:  “My Lord and God!” / “You believe because you've seen?  Blessed those who haven't seen and have believed.”  Jesus did many other signs, but these are written so you may believe Jesus is Christ and Son of God, and you may have life.
Pope Francis
    The incredulity of St. Thomas
    (de Rossi)
  • Homily for today's Canonization Mass:  Jesus' wounds remain on Christ's risen body; they're the enduring sign of God’s love, mercy, and faithfulness.  “By his wounds you have been healed.”  Saints John XXIII and John Paul II weren't afraid to look upon them.  They saw Jesus in every person who suffers or struggles.  They were filled with the parrhesia of the Spirit and bore witness to all of God’s goodness and mercy.  In them was the living hope and joy the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, forged in self-denial, self-emptying, and identification with sinners; they bestowed this gift on the People of God.  This hope and joy were palpable in the earliest community of believers; they lived the Gospel, love and mercy, in simplicity and fraternity.  It's also the image of the Church Vatican II set before us.  These saints cooperated with the Spirit in renewing and updating the Church.  In convening the Council, John XXIII let himself be Spirit-led and be a servant-leader.  He's the pope of openness to the Spirit.  John Paul II was the pope of the family; from heaven he's guiding our journey towards the Synod on the family.  May these saints intercede for us, so we may be open to the Spirit, not be scandalized by Christ's wounds, and enter more deeply into divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives.
[Thank God for last night's Radiate.LA-sponsored canonization celebration and vigil at the Cathedral!]
    Music
    Reflections
      • Creighton:  The good news is too good to believed; we tone it down.  It's too simple; we complicate it.  “The sacrament of Reconciliation is not to wipe away faults; it's to make us more loving, to show we choose for them to make us more honest and humble.” (Fr. Pat Malone, S.J.)  That’s what Jesus’ post-Easter questions did for Peter.  We've been forgiven much; love much.
      • One Bread One Body:  "The first believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer; the sequence is characteristic of the Church's prayer" (Catechism, 2624).  Our prayers must be based on the Eucharist and be celebrated in the context of communal life; we need the Spirit and must devote ourselves to the Bible and other Church teachings.
            The incredulity of St. Thomas/ Caravaggio
          • Passionist:  Jesus shows astonishing patience with his disciples, encouraging them, "slow of heart" as they are.  Let's join Thomas; we may say, "I won't believe until I see" but experience "I won't see until I believe!"
          • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus commissioned his weak, timid apostles to spread the gospel.  Jesus fulfilled his mission through love and obedience.  He gives us the same Spirit he gave the first disciples, so we have joy and courage to live as disciples.  Once Thomas recognized the risen Jesus, he believed.  Through the gift of faith we can receive new life and proclaim Jesus as Lord.
          • Moved to greater love, to receive the Spirit and be sent as evidence of God's love:
            Compelling evidence for God? (Moser, Evidence for God, 215)  Do the people I know who model selfless love reflect joy and attract others?
          • Universalis:  From a Pope John Paul II's sermon at the canonization of Sr. Faustina Kowalska:  Jesus told Sr. Faustina, “Humanity won't find peace till it turns trustfully to divine mercy.”  The light of divine mercy illumines the way; its path re-establishes our relationship with God and creates solidarity among people.  We experience God's mercy and are called to practice mercy towards others, to reach out to all human needs.  We learn deep self-giving love only by penetrating the mystery of God’s love.  Sr. Faustina wrote in her Diary: “I feel pain when I see my neighbors' sufferings.  I'd like them to fall on me, to relieve them.”  This is love patterned after God's!  The divine mercy message is also about the value of every human being.  Christ gave his life for each one; to everyone the Father offers intimacy.
          Apparel
          • "Wheat" pin:  they devoted themselves to the breaking of bread... (1st reading)
          • "Kneeling person" tie bar:  ...and to prayer (1st reading)
          • "Abacus" tie pin:  they divided their possessions according to need; every day the Lord added to their number (1st reading) [how to divide on an abacus]
          • "Stone" tie pin:  The stone the builders rejected... (psalm)
          • "Eyeball" tie pin:  it's wonderful in our eyes (psalm); "we have seen the Lord" (gospel)
          • "Peace sign" tie bar:  “Peace be with you!” (gospel)
          • "Hearts" suspenders:  Divine Mercy
          • "Hands" tie:  Jesus showed them his hands; Thomas:  "unless I put my hand into his side" (gospel)
          • "Keyboard with dove" tie pin:  "Receive the Holy Spirit" (gospel)
          • "Key" tie pin:  the doors were locked (gospel)
          • White shirt:  color of day/Easter season
          Dress your life!