Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed
A reflection for Divine Mercy Sunday, Year C
by Dario F. Mobini
“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
If people were to ask, “What makes you a Catholic?” are you prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within you? The great message of Christianity is not just about an ideology or some medieval philosophy; rather, it is about God who became man and rose from the dead. The Resurrection of Jesus changed the trajectory of history. It rocked the Apostles, particularly Thomas, to the core, seeing him face to face, not being able to reject what his human senses were telling him. Jesus is very much alive! It is this Jesus, the Risen Lord, whom the Apostles encounter in the upper room, confirming their faith so that they may go out and be living witnesses of his mercy and love. The first reading shares the account of this very work as signs and wonders performed. This same Lord, whom the apostles encountered physically, we encounter sacramentally at every Eucharist, becoming fully present to awaken us, like Thomas, to go forth for the conversion of the world!
On April 30, 2000, St. John Paul II declared
Sister Faustina Kowalska a saint of the Catholic Church and promulgated that on every 2nd Sunday of Easter, the Church would gaze at the infinite mercy of God, calling it “Divine Mercy Sunday”. We can learn a valuable insight into the life of St. Faustina and her vision of God’s mercy for the world. The mercy that is won for us by Christ’s death on the Cross. As Pope Francis has reminded us
, God never fails to show us his mercy; rather, it is we who are tired and fail to ask for it. Mercy is at the very heart of the Church’s mission, that is, to accompany the sinner back to the life of grace. As St. Faustina wrote in her diary, “My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, especially for poor sinners…. It is for them that the Blood and water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy (367).
“We have seen the Risen Lord!” “He is alive!” These are the earliest Christian proclamation that led the Apostles to go to the ends of the world. The peace they encountered in the upper room, as the Gospel reminds us, is the same peace we encounter in the modern-day successors of the Apostles, the bishops. Today, bishops continue to hand on the beauty and riches of the faith so that we too may be inspired to be alive and live fearlessly like the early Christians who bore witness to their faith unto death.
Like the Apostles and their collaborators of the first couple of centuries, we too are called to accompany the outcasts, the sinners, the abandoned, those at the peripheries, and most importantly, our neighbour, those sitting amongst us in our Church community. We are the Mystical Body of Christ, and with that comes the reality: our actions are not so much to be inclusive but to call each other to a conversion of heart, knowing that our Lord, who is mercy, will embrace us and fill us with his Holy Spirit so we too may go and be living witnesses to his love to the ends of the world.
We do see the Risen Lord! He is alive! In the Eucharist of the Church, Christ, who is Mercy, invites you and me to follow him. May this Easter Season inspire you to seek opportunities to help accompany those who have been entrusted to you, leading them to the very face of Mercy, Christ Jesus.
The readings for Divine Mercy Sunday, Year C, are
Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
Dario F. Mobini is the Editor in Chief of WorldYouthDay.com
, promoting the beauty of World Youth Day to all the English-speaking pilgrims of the world. The next World Youth Day will be in Lisbon, Portugal, in August of 2023.