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Sunday, April 15, 2012

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Second Sunday of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday

Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
John 20:19-31

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passing on mercy

"Let those who fear the Lord say, 'His mercy endures forever.' " —Psalm 118:4

Fr. Al Lauer, founder and longtime author of One Bread, One Body, would often on these pages define mercy as treating someone better than they deserve. On the first Easter evening, Jesus treated His apostles with great mercy. Though they had fled from Him when He was arrested, Jesus would not lay a guilt trip on them. Instead, His first words to them were, "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19).

It would be understandable if Jesus was reluctant to entrust His disciples with any responsibility. Nonetheless, Jesus still sent them out (Jn 20:21), entrusting them with His power, though they were still fearful (Jn 20:19). He gave them the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22). He gave Thomas a second chance to undo his earlier doubts (Jn 20:27); later, He gave Peter a second chance to undo his earlier denials (Jn 21:15).

How "rich in mercy" Jesus is! (Eph 2:4) Jesus gives us, His disciples, incredible mercy. Now he has entrusted us with the opportunity to pass on His mercy to others. Who in your life needs a second chance after letting you down miserably? On this Divine Mercy Sunday, be merciful, as Jesus is merciful (see Lk 6:36, RSV-CE).

Prayer:  Jesus, I trust in You. Mercy of God, I trust in You.

Promise:  "Who, then, is conqueror of the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." —1 Jn 5:5

Praise:  Jesus is risen! "Let the house of Israel say, 'His mercy endures forever' " (Ps 118:2). Alleluia!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

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