This is a special Sunday of the year John Paul II was instrumental in the expansion of the devotion to Divine Mercy. In a homily on one of the first official Divine Mercy Sunday John Paul preached that “Jesus said to St. Faustina one day: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy”. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.”
This week all the readings we hear on Sunday are about faith and fellowship. We begin in the Acts of the Apostles where we hear from Luke about the early Church community in Jerusalem. They were of one heart and one mind, everything that they had they had in communion with on another. Everyone was the same this is still alive in monastic living, and although it seems like an idealized world we have to remember that the community was very small at the time so it would have worked well. The community was one and this idea is something that we still live with today about the Church, we are all one across all continents. In the letter this week we hear from the first letter from John, now this was a letter written to the Johannine community by a follower of John, the Gospel writer, while the community was dealing with a schismatic group of some kind. In our reading today we hear several times that we all should love one another and that it is through our faith that we will conquer the world. For Christ came into the world not through only water but by blood and water and the Spirit is here to testify this to all nations.
Turning to the Gospel we hear from John about the time Jesus appeared to the disciples. He breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Now Thomas wasn’t there that day for some reason and he wouldn’t believe that Jesus came to them until he could put his fingers in the nail marks and a hand in his side. A week later Thomas was there and Jesus appeared saying put your fingers here and hand here see and believe, and blessed are those who do not see yet still believe. The reading ends by telling us that Jesus did many other signs that are not written in this book. This is what many believe was the original ending of the Gospel with the next chapter appended later on. It is through the water and blood of Jesus that we are offered our salvation. If you do not know about Faustina or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, please take some time and look it up during this upcoming week.