Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 11 A..D. 2010
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The world was never the same after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
As a consequence, the readings for the Sundays following Easter, all the way to Pentecost, deal with earth-shattering events. St. Luke wrote not only his Gospel, but a second volume called the Acts of the Apostles that covers nearly seventy years of history. The first reading today is taken from that book. It describes a scene, in the Temple, of some very spectacular healings.
No, it's not Jesus who is the central figure, but the power of the Holy Spirit now present in Jesus' apostles. They are continuing God's mercy and compassion toward the sick and the crippled and the lame. Since Jesus had died on the cross not just for some, but for all people, His followers show no discrimination in healing the rich, the poor, Jews and even strangers to Jerusalem.
Today's second reading is from the great "dream book" of John, the Book of Revelation. We learn that it is God Himself through the Angel who told John to write down these great scenes of future judgment and the glory that will come to Jesus and to those who are faithful to the Lamb.
John writes from his exile, along with many other Christians exiled by the Emperor Domitian. Today we think of countless Christians, driven from Moslem countries at a loss of possessions, employment, and homeland. Present day persecution for the faith is severe. Governments that could help are sadly indifferent.
So, why is this Sunday called Divine Mercy Sunday?
Because Pope John Paul II saw in the visions of a Polish saint, Blessed Faustina, a message Jesus Christ wished the world to focus on more: His Divine Mercy.
His Mercy is powerfully shown in today's Gospel as the newly-risen Savior appears to those who had betrayed Him, those who in weakness had run far away from the soldiers and from the mock trials -- and from their Master in His three-hour agony and death.
As Jesus came through those locked doors where they had huddled in fear of arrest, He did not upbraid or condemn them, but said with loving compassion, "Peace to you." He forgave them for their weakness, their cowardice, and their sinfulness. He continued to heal them of their doubts and fears.
Second, He did not fire them from their ministry, but commissioned them to preach His Name to the ends of the earth. He restored His trust in them, and loved them even more. He would eventually send His Spirit to strengthen them with His Divine Power.
As Jesus showed His Divine mercy to His apostles, the Church urges us this Sunday to show our gratitude and belief in His never-failing forgiveness for our sins and betrayals of His love.
Jesus urges us to pray often for the people of the world that have abandoned His commandments, ignored His words, shunned His healing, and rejected His love. We need to imitate God's mercy by our daily prayer and by speaking out on their behalf, to our own government.
Our Easter joy continues during these weeks after Easter, as we prepare ourselves in prayer with Mary for a further "confirmation" of His gifts this Pentecost.
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Second Sunday of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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