Divine Mercy

April 7: Thomas answered…..’My Lord and my God!’

Dear brothers and sisters, today, as we gather to celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as the Divine Mercy Sunday, we are presented with readings that speak profoundly of the essence of Christian community, the power of faith, and the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.                                                                              

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we encounter the early Christian community, which serves as a model of unity and selflessness. The passage describes how the believers were of one heart and mind, sharing everything they had with each other. There was no sense of ownership or selfishness among them; rather, they held all things in common. This unity was not just a superficial display but rooted in their deep faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They bore witness to this resurrection with great power, and as a result, they experienced favor from God and a profound sense of community where no one was in need.                                                      

This reading challenges us to reflect on the state of our own communities. Do we truly live as brothers and sisters, sharing our blessings with one another? Are we willing to let go of our attachments to possessions and embrace a spirit of generosity and solidarity? The early Christians exemplify the radical love and unity that should characterize every Christian community, serving as a reminder of our call to live in harmony and selflessness.                           

In the second reading from the First Letter of John, we delve into the nature of faith and its transformative power. We are reminded that true faith in Jesus Christ is not merely an intellectual assent to certain doctrines, but a living reality that shapes our lives. Faith in Christ is inseparable from love for God and obedience to His commandments. It is through this faith that we conquer the world, overcoming its temptations and trials. And at the heart of this victorious faith is the acknowledgment that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to us not only by water but also by His sacrificial blood, bearing witness to the truth through the Spirit.

As we reflect on these words, let us examine the depth of our own faith. Does our faith in Christ lead us to love God and our neighbor more fully? Do we find His commandments burdensome, or do we embrace them joyfully as a path to true freedom and victory over the world? Let us allow the Spirit to testify within us and guide us into a deeper relationship with the Lord, rooted in faith, love, and obedience.                                                                   

In the Gospel passage from John, we encounter the resurrected Christ appearing to His disciples, offering them peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Despite their fears and doubts, Jesus assures them of His presence and commissions them to continue His mission of reconciliation and forgiveness. He entrusts them with the authority to forgive sins, a power that flows from His boundless mercy and love.      

The figure of Thomas, often referred to as “Doubting Thomas,” serves as a reminder of our own struggles with doubt and disbelief. Yet, Jesus does not condemn Thomas for his doubts but instead meets him where he is, inviting him to encounter His wounds and believe. Through Thomas’s confession of faith, “My Lord and my God,” we witness the transformative power of encountering the risen Christ, even in the midst of doubt.                                                 

As we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, we are invited to reflect on the unfathomable mercy of God, which surpasses all our expectations and limitations. Jesus, in His infinite mercy, offers us forgiveness and reconciliation, no matter how unworthy we may feel. He invites us to approach Him with confidence, trusting in His boundless love and mercy.                                                                                              

Dear friends, as we ponder these readings, let us ask ourselves: Do we truly believe in the mercy of God? Are we willing to receive His forgiveness and extend it to others? Let us open our hearts to the transformative power of His Divine Mercy, allowing it to heal our wounds and reconcile us to God and one another.                              

Finally, let us strive to emulate the unity and selflessness of the early Christian community, rooted in faith and love. Let us deepen our faith in Christ, allowing it to shape our lives and conquer the world’s temptations. And let us embrace the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, allowing it to transform us and make us instruments of His peace in the world.                                                                       

May the grace of Divine Mercy abound in our hearts today and always.

Easter Sunday

March 31: Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday.

My dear brothers and sisters, today, as we gather to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are reminded of the profound truth that lies at the heart of our faith: the victory of life over death, of hope over despair. The readings we have just heard echo this glorious message, inviting us to contemplate the transformative power of Christ’s resurrection in our own lives.                                                                                     

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear Peter proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. He recounts the ministry of Jesus, how he went about doing good, healing the sick, and preaching the kingdom of God. Peter boldly declares that Jesus, who was put to death by crucifixion, was raised on the third day by God. This resurrection is not merely a historical event but a living reality, testified to by eyewitnesses who encountered the risen Christ.                                    

Similarly, in the letter to the Colossians, we are reminded of our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. St. Paul exhorts us to set our minds on heavenly things, to seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Our old selves, enslaved to sin and death, have been crucified with Christ, and we have been raised to new life with him. As we celebrate Easter, we are invited to live out this new reality, to embrace our identity as people who have been made alive in Christ.                                                                                                                  

In the Gospel reading from John, we encounter the scene of the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene, overcome with grief, discovers that the stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty. Distressed, she runs to tell Peter and the beloved disciple. Upon hearing her report, they rush to the tomb and find it as Mary described. The burial cloths are there, but Jesus is not. It is only later, after they have seen and believed, that they begin to understand the significance of what has happened.

My dear friends, the empty tomb is Not just a historical curiosity; it is the symbol of our faith. It is the tangible evidence of Christ’s victory over sin and death. Just as Jesus conquered the grave, so too can we, through him, overcome whatever challenges and struggles we face in our lives. The resurrection is not just a past event; it is a present reality that continues to transform lives and renew hope.                                               

As we celebrate Easter today, let us reflect on what it means to live as people of the resurrection. It means embracing the new life that Christ offers us, a life of freedom, joy, and purpose. It means letting go of the old, sinful ways and embracing the newness of life that comes from being united with Christ. It means living with hope in the midst of despair, with love in the face of hatred, and with faith in the face of doubt.                                                                                                             

But living as people of the resurrection also means bearing witness to the risen Christ in the world. Just as Peter and the other disciples were commissioned to preach the gospel and testify to the reality of the resurrection, so too are we called to proclaim the good news to all people. Our lives should be a reflection of the transformative power of Christ’s resurrection, drawing others to encounter the living God who offers them new life and salvation.                                                           

As we continue our celebration of Easter today, may we be filled with joy and gratitude for the gift of new life in Christ. May we embrace the reality of the resurrection in our own lives and bear witness to it in the world. And may we always remember that Christ is risen, indeed, alleluia!

Good Friday

Good Friday

My dear brothers and sisters, today, as we gather in solemnity and reflection, our hearts are drawn to the cross, the symbol of our redemption, the focal point of our faith. On this Good Friday, we commemorate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, who willingly endured suffering and death for the salvation of all humanity.                     

In the readings proclaimed to us, we encounter the profound depth of Christ’s love. We walk with Him on the road to Calvary, witnessing His agony, His pain, His sacrifice. The Prophet Isaiah’s words echo through the ages, as he describes the suffering servant, “a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem” (Isaiah 53:3). In these words, we find the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation, the ultimate expression of love poured out for us.                                                                                             

As we contemplate the mystery of the cross, we are confronted with the reality of sin and its consequences. The cross reveals the depth of human brokenness and the magnitude of God’s mercy. It is here, in the midst of suffering and death, that we find hope. For through Christ’s sacrifice, we are offered the gift of reconciliation with God, the promise of forgiveness, and the hope of eternal life.         

Yet, the cross is not merely a historical event relegated to the past. It is a living reality, a constant reminder of God’s love and presence in our lives. As we journey through our own struggles and sufferings, we are called to embrace the cross, to unite our pain with Christ’s, knowing that through our trials, we are drawn closer to Him.                                                                                                     

In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul reminds us of the humility and obedience of Christ, who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). Let us reflect on the profound humility of our Lord, who endured the cross out of love for us.

Today, as we venerate the cross, let us open our hearts to receive the graces poured out upon us. Let us entrust our burdens, our pain, our brokenness to the one who carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders. And let us resolve to live lives worthy of the sacrifice made on our behalf, lives marked by love, mercy, and forgiveness.                                                                                              

May the cross of Christ be our strength and our salvation. May it guide us through the darkness of this world to the light of eternal life. And may we, like the good thief who hung beside Jesus, find redemption and peace in the embrace of our Savior.

Palm Sunday

March 24: Palm Sunday Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!

My dear brothers and sisters, as we gather on this Palm Sunday, we are reminded of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, hailed by crowds waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” This momentous event marks the beginning of Holy Week, a time of profound reflection on the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord.                                                                    

The imagery of palm branches, often associated with victory and peace, carries a deeper significance for us as believers. It symbolizes not just an earthly triumph, but the fulfillment of God’s plan for our salvation. Jesus, riding humbly on a donkey, enters Jerusalem not as a conquering king adorned in riches and power, but as the Prince of Peace, bringing salvation to all who would receive Him.                                                                                                             

In the midst of the jubilation of Palm Sunday, we are also reminded of the fickleness of human nature. The same crowd that welcomed Jesus with shouts of joy would soon cry out for His crucifixion. How often do we, like those in the crowd, fluctuate in our faith, easily swayed by the circumstances of the world around us?                                                                                                              

Yet, despite our weaknesses and failures, Jesus continues to journey with us. He willingly walks the path to Calvary, bearing the weight of our sins upon His shoulders. His sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate expression of love, a love that knows no bounds and extends to each and every one of us.                                                         

As we enter into Holy Week, let us walk alongside Jesus in His passion. Let us not only reflect on the events of His suffering and death but also allow them to penetrate our hearts and transform our lives. Let us imitate His humility, His selflessness, and His unwavering commitment to the will of the Father.                                                              

In the days ahead, may we draw closer to Christ through prayer, fasting, and acts of charity. Let us journey with Him to the cross, trusting that beyond the darkness of Good Friday lies the hope of Easter Sunday, when death is conquered and new life is born.       

Let us pray for the grace to persevere in our faith, even in the face of trials and tribulations. And may the celebration of Palm Sunday serve as a reminder of the victory that awaits us, as we unite ourselves more closely with Christ and His redeeming sacrifice.      

May God bless you abundantly this Holy Week and grant you the courage to follow in the footsteps of our Savior, now and always.