Divine Mercy

He is Risen!

From Our Pastoral Associate

Jesus’s mercy, love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness surpass all his disciples’ obstacles, anguish, and disbelief. Although Jesus was sold, betrayed, denied, and abandoned by those he loved unconditionally, he never harbored hatred or resentment, and he never took revenge.

Easter Joy

While the disciples were behind closed doors, in the house where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus appeared among them to greet them, comfort them, and strengthen their faith and trust in Him. He greets them to encourage them, gives them the authority to forgive sins, and assures them that He is and will always be with them.

Jesus appears to his most intimate friends resurrected, still with nail marks on his hands and feet and wounds all over his body. Thomas is not there when the resurrected Jesus presents himself to his disciples. The disciples tell Thomas what has happened, but he doubts it. He has to see and touch him for himself to believe.

Our resurrected Jesus, who doesn’t leave anything for later, appears once again to his close friends and addresses Thomas exclusively so that he can come out of his astonishment and disbelief. When Thomas sees Jesus, he does not dare to do what Jesus asks of him. Jesus asks him to touch him and put his finger in his side and his wounds so that he will never doubt again but rather believe. Thomas humbly prostrates himself, kneels, and proclaims his faith, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus answers, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

If we meditate on this Gospel, we will surely have an image of Jesus who does not condemn but always forgives. His mercy is unlimited; it’s like an ocean. His mercy is much greater and immense than the most horrible or mortal sins we have ever committed. To understand Jesus’s mercy, we must adopt Thomas’s innocence and humility.

Catholics make the same profession of faith, “my Lord and my God,” when the priest raises the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do those who make this profession of faith do so from the heart and in good faith, or are they just repeating what other people say? On the other hand, there are indifferent and unbelieving Catholics who do not kneel, repeat, or believe the profession of Thomas. Whenever we come to the Holy Eucharist, let us come with that devotion, faith, simplicity, and humility to kneel (if possible) or give reverence like Thomas. If there are still doubts about the real presence of Jesus when the priest raises the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us ask with great humility, “Lord, increase my little faith.” Also, when we go to the sacrament of reconciliation and make a sincere and heartfelt confession, we should have the certainty and security that Jesus has forgiven us. And if doubts arise in our minds and hearts about whether we have been forgiven, let us humbly ask Jesus to remove those doubts from our minds and hearts.

Remember that Jesus does not hold back his forgiveness for us, and his love and mercy surpass our understanding and human capacity. If Jesus did it for his close friends, his twelve disciples, why wouldn’t he do it for us? And if we fall and sin again, let us not hesitate to approach the sacrament of confession because Jesus will always be waiting for us with open arms. Our Jesus will always be a very compassionate and merciful God. Let us never doubt his real presence in the Holy Eucharist, His Word, and the sacrament of Reconciliation. Let’s taste and see how great the Lord is! The Lord loves us and will continue to love us to the end. The love of Jesus conquers our fears. Amen.

With love and respect, Friar Alberto Villafan, OFM

(En Español)

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