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April 23, 2017
Gospel Reflection- “Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” This greeting from the resurrected Christ must have been a profound one for the disciples. They were living behind locked doors “for fear of the Jews,” which really meant for fear of their own lives. They had seen what happened to Jesus and didn’t want to face the same fate. Imagine the paralysis of this fear, keeping them locked inside a prison of their own making.
But even the walls and the locks could not keep Jesus out! He came “although the doors were locked” and brought them a message of peace. And then their fear turned to gladness for they “rejoiced when they saw the Lord.”
This transformation from sadness to joy, from fear to peace was not just a gift for these first disciples. It is a gift for all of the followers of the Lord, ourselves included! When we are afraid of what might happen in our lives, where we are trapped or paralyzed by the burdens of our own habitual sins, Jesus wants to step in and offer us peace. This is what we celebrate today on this feast of the mercy of Christ. His love and peace—the gift of his mercy—is meant for all of us, weak, sinful, and scared though we may be.
And we who receive this great gift of mercy from the Lord are also called to be merciful to others. We are called to be peacemakers and to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Our celebration of Divine Mercy need not stop at the doors of our own hearts. We can seek ways to be ministers of God’s mercy to others, reaching out with the love of God, bringing comfort and consolation to those who need it most.
"Reading scripture is like rain on dry, hard land.
It takes a while to soak in." -Father Ken Harder.