Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket-sized devotional featuring key passages of Jesus' own words to St. Faustina, following themes such as trust, deeds of mercy, and ... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 19, 2009)
Readings: Acts 4:32-35; 1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31
"Peace be with you." Jn 20:19
Today's Gospel tells the story of the first Easter Sunday and its octave day, which we celebrate today as Divine Mercy Sunday. The disciples are confused and frightened. Christ had represented their deepest hopes, but all that had changed in the garden, in the court of the high priest, in the praetorium of Pilate, and on that awful hill of Calvary where most of them had not even dared to show themselves. After the torture and execution of Christ, all had seemed lost. So the disciples had withdrawn into the upper room and locked the doors.
And suddenly He was there with them. (In our fear, we can try to lock Him out, but He is always with us.) The first word He spoke was "shalom," which means not just "peace," but complete health and well-being in mind, body, and spirit.
Thomas wasn't there and refused to believe unless he could see the holes in Christ's hands and put his hand into the wound in Christ's side. So, eight days later, Christ shows up again, offering Thomas the proof he needs. What a wonderful testimony to how far God is willing to go to reveal Himself to each of us, personally, when we long to see Him!
Here we are, some 2,000 years later. So many plans that haven't worked out. So many dashed expectations. In our fear, how many rooms have we fled into to hide? How many locked doors are there in our minds and hearts? How many times have we been afraid to trust, unwilling to believe, unable to receive?
Every day, but especially today, when we remember and celebrate His mercy, Christ stands before us (even in the deepest locked rooms of our being). He offers us His "shalom," and invites us to receive His Spirit. "One thing alone is necessary: that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart ... to let in a ray of God's merciful grace" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1507).
Lord, help me to let go of all fear today and trust You to break through all the locked doors, heal all the wounds, and breathe Your "shalom" into my heart. Amen. Alleluia!