Mercy is awareness of one’s limitation

Easter is the central celebration of our Christian faith. With the resurrection of Jesus, God’s Kingdom is established on earth.

Apr 22, 2022

                Reflecting on our Sunday Readings with Fr Mark Michael

Divine Mercy Sunday (C)
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 5:12-16;
Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13;
Gospel: John 20:19-31

Jason, a young man on his way back home after work, was walking through a dark alley. Suddenly, a teenage boy jumped on him with a dagger, demanding his wallet. Jason gave the teenager his wallet and as the robber was about to run away, Jason told him to stop and take his coat too, as it was a cold night and he would be freezing if he was going to rob other people.

Shocked by his concern for him, a robber, he took the coat. Then again, as he was about to leave, Jason called the teenager and invited him to have dinner with him in a restaurant nearby. “The food there is great and you would love it,” said Jason. The robber couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but seeing how gentle and sincere that invitation was, he decided to take the offer. Here now was Jason and the robber having a meal together.

After they had finished the meal, Jason said that he would love to pay for the dinner but the teenager had his wallet. So, without a word, the wallet came across the table. Then Jason said, “I have to ask you another thing. Could you give me the knife too?” And without a word, the knife came across the table too.

Easter is the central celebration of our Christian faith. With the resurrection of Jesus, God’s Kingdom is established on earth. Through His death, Christ saved humankind from the bondage of sin and He destroyed death by His resurrection that gives us new life. The salvation history of the world reached its climax in the person of Jesus in our Easter celebration.

The consequences of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus continue to unfold the deeper mysteries of God’s love for all creation. Mercy is one of the most attractive and consoling attributes of God which defines His justice beyond our human logic. As human persons, none of us are able to stand before God without the guilt of sin. As humans, we continue to fall and sin because of our human weaknesses.

Yet our experiences testify that when we repent and face the consequences of our faults by taking full responsibility, the soul is at peace with God. Many people shift their responsibility by blaming others and not repenting for the evil acts committed. So, they continue to dwell in their sin and never experience the salvation of God.

The Eucharist that is celebrated every day is an expression of God’s tremendous love of us through His mercy. Society today is living in tremendous illusion that even sin is ignorant to many. The selfish person is blind to sin and exploits whatever he is able to for his benefit only. Yet they continue to be faithful to all the Churches spiritual activity. They project holiness, but character, behaviour, language, decisions are contradicting to the Gospels.

Mercy is an awareness of one’s limitation or sin and seeks total dependency on God for the transformation of total self. Yet, because of not forming a good conscience, many remain indifferent to who they are. Many die not knowing who they are and, sadly, without all the available gifts of the Church through Jesus Christ.

We all need to be conscious of our sin, to experience the loving mercy of God. Sin has settled comfortably in many people's lives, sinful acts are justified with logical reasons.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the direct contact which the Catholic community is privileged with, to encounter the mercy of God and to open one’s soul. Yet, within this sacrament, people still hide their sins.

Not going deeper into moral sins which are paralysing life during confession doesn’t fully expedite the wonders of this sacrament. Only those who open their souls to the grace of God and who are conscious of their sins leave the confessional at peace. When the soul experiences the forgiveness of God through the priesthood of Christ, peace revitalises the soul and offers great hope to live life to the fullest.

The entire mystery of Easter has defined a whole new meaning of our present understanding of the life and mystery of the Church. The Church enjoys the glory of the Resurrection in all her dimensions.

This includes the Joy of the Resurrection, the Faith of the Resurrection, the Hope of the Resurrection, the Love of the Resurrection, the Peace of the Resurrection and the Mercy of the Resurrection. Such glory is manifested in the community of the Resurrection, by the witnessing of the Resurrection.

We are also given the Mother of the Resurrection, the Church of the Resurrection, the Words of the Resurrection, the Sacraments of the Resurrection and the Miracle of the Resurrection, to sustain our Mission of the Resurrection with the never-ending Grace of the Resurrection.
Enjoy life and God bless.

(Fr Mark Michael is the Head of the Penang Diocesan Catechetical Commission. He is also the parish priest of Church of St John the Baptist, Sg Siput, Perak)

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