Sunday of Divine Mercy
April 19, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Acts 2:42-47 / Ps 118 / 1 Pt 1:3-9 / Jn 20:19-31
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Karen Mannering of Kent was six months pregnant with her fourth child when she tested positive for Covid-19. Describing her experience while she was isolated in her hospital room for a week, she said, “It was a lonely, dark time. No one was allowed to come and see me. I was scared that I was going to die, and I was fighting for every single breath. I was fighting for my and my baby’s life.”
Karen said that she will never forget the feeling of that crisp, cold air on her face the day she left the hospital. She and her husband drove home with the car windows open and she said the breeze felt amazing! She once again learned to appreciate the smallest things that she may have taken for granted all these years.
Karen is just one of the more than half a million people all over the world who have recovered from the Coronavirus disease. All their loved ones suffered right along with them, but their recoveries brought joy and hope to their families and friends.
After Our Lord’s crucifixion and death on Calvary, His disciples were not only panicked, but they also suffered and perhaps lost whatever little hope they still had. They surely lost their peace and wellbeing, which could easily lead to discouragement.
In the gospel that we have just heard, St. John the Evangelist related to us one of the joyful incidents after Our Lord’s resurrection. Jesus came through the locked doors and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And He commissioned them to be the instruments of His purpose by giving them and their successors the authority to forgive sins.
Thomas, who wasn’t there, probably couldn’t understand why all the other disciples were suddenly so joyful when just hours before they’d had long faces. He was pretty much like most of us. At first, he refused to believe; eventually he did. But the Lord sounded a little sad when He said, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the fact that we are praying together and, in a couple of minutes, will profess our faith, is a reason for us to give God thanks and praise. We should continue to nurture our faith by prayer, receiving the sacraments, and putting into practice the teachings of the Gospel.
In the first letter of Peter, which we heard in today’s second reading, the apostle reminded the early Christians and all of us, Christ’s followers in the twenty-first century: God in his mercy gave us hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Although for a little while you may have to suffer trials, you continue to prove your faith in Jesus Christ. Even if you do not see Him you believe in Him, and you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy as you attain the goal of your faith.