REFLECTIONS ON THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – THE DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY BY FR. HERBERT ENE (Acts 2: 42-47; 1 Peter 1: 3-9; John 20: 19-31)
ENCOUNTER CHRIST IN THE ASSEMBLY
After the Good Friday incident of the Passion and Death of Jesus, the disciples did not find it easy to come to terms with what the Savior’s Resurrection meant for them. They were afraid and confused, but they never lost their faith as a group.
It is because they are one in spirit and in faith that they were able to come together in the Upper room, though under locked doors, for fear of the Jews. As a group, they prayed, break bread, shared their experiences together and encouraged one another. They were of the opinion that “united will stand and divided will fall”. They also believed Christ and his word: “that where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them.” This promise was fulfilled without delay.
On that faithful day, despite the locked doors, the risen Jesus stands in the midst of the disciples to strengthen them and give them his gift of true peace – “a peace the world cannot give”. The peace Christ brings is found through faith, a faith that is alive and active in the world in Christ. Through faith, we see beyond our daily crosses and then step into the unknown with confidence that with Christ on our side, victory is assured.
Unfortunately, at this Easter season when we could have gathered in our “Upper room” – the church just as the disciples did during their own time, we are ordered to “Stay-at-home” because of COVID-19 pandemic. It is really frustrating but we cannot give up. As a church family we miss our daily and weekly Eucharistic celebrations. However, let us remember that the family is a domestic church and must serve as such at this trial period. I urge all of you to unite with me spiritually in prayer from your various homes (Upper rooms) as I celebrate private masses for your various intentions.
Furthermore, when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the Upper room, he breathed on them his Spirit of new life, giving them the authority to loose and to bind. This is a beautiful icon of the Church, the community gathered around Jesus and filled with his Spirit. This authority to loose and to bind is still available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Feel free to call the church office if you need this Sacrament.
As we celebrate the “Divine Mercy Sunday, let us ask the Merciful God to bless and strengthen us, so that neither the devil, nor the demands of this passing world, nor the desires of the flesh, nor the COVID-19 pandemic will ever prevent us from encountering the Risen Christ personally in our lives. With hearts full of hope, joy, and faith, let us be reconciled to God in his Divine Mercy and share that mercy with the world.
I urge all of us to keep observing all the precautionary and safety measures given to us by our leaders. I miss you all so much. Be assured of my prayers for all your intentions. I pray also for God’s intervention in our present situation. Be safe. Keep the faith. Remain blessed. God is good! All the time!