Sunday of Divine Mercy
(Second Sunday of Easter)
April 12, 2015 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.E.

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n the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“His mercy endures forever.”

We are celebrating the Sunday of Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy is the fruit of Jesus’ Resurrection. In today’s Gospel, we heard that Jesus appeared to the Apostles and entrusted his most precious gift to them: “[…] he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retained are retained’” (Jn 20:22).

Once I heard a story that helps us understand the nature of God’s mercy. Some years ago in Paris, a world-renowned artist was painting in his garret studio while his four-year-old son watched. The child was amazed by the movements of the brushes, the different colors of paints on the palette, the smell and brightness of the paints—everything was extraordinary to him. That day, the artist was painting a very beautiful picture, the finest work he had ever done. At a certain point, the telephone rings. There were no cell phones then. The painter has to go to another room to answer the call. The phone call was a long one. The boy has the canvas, the palette and the brushes before him. What does he do? The same as he saw his father doing… When the painter comes back, what does he see? His masterpiece has been destroyed! However, this painter was so brilliant that he could utilize his son’s brushstrokes to make an even better work. Many years later, the painter’s son goes with some friends to visit the National Gallery. When they arrive at his father’s painting, he says to his friends: “Look, I painted this picture!”

As Saint John Paul II so eloquently wrote: “God can always draw good from evil […] The Paschal Mystery confirms that good is ultimately victorious, that life conquers death and that love triumphs over hate” (Memory and Identity).

We can apply this truth to our personal life and the life of the world. In the second reading, Saint John says: “[…] for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the word is our faith” (1 Jn 5:4).

Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the power of evil. We feel weak and unable to overcome the bad in us. We can have the same experience as that of Saint Paul: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom 7:15). We can also become discouraged by what is happening in the world. We live in a time of confusion about the most basic things. Nowadays, the majority of people seem to live as if God did not exist. Immorality is considered the norm. The Church’s message is not accepted.

“Jesus, I trust in you” is written at the bottom of the Divine Mercy image. This trust in Jesus allows us to conquer evil. When we trust in him, evil can be transformed into good. If we really trust in him, we can experience the truth of the Pope’s statement: “God can always draw good from evil.”

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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