The Second Sunday of Easter
or Divine Mercy Sunday

April 8, 2018 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B.

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In 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 the Gospel, we heard that Jesus appeared to the apostles and entrusted to them his most precious gift: “[…] 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).

I once heard a story that helps us understand what God’s mercy is. A long time ago, in Paris, a painter was painting in his studio in a typical Parisian mansard roof. He was a famous painter, world-renowned. Next to him was his son, who was four years old. The child was looking at his dad, amazed by all the things he was doing: the movements of the brushes, the different colors of paints on the palette, the smell and brightness of the paints—everything was extraordinary for him. That day, the painter was working on a very beautiful painting; the best work he had ever done. At a certain point, the telephone rings. There were no cell phones then. The painter had 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 destroyed! However, this painter was so brilliant that he could utilize his son’s strokes to make an even better work, his best painting. 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!”

The Blessed John Paul II 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.”

We can apply this truth to our personal lives and to 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 world is our faith” (1 Jn 5:4).Divine Mercy conquers the evil that we find in ourselves and around us.

Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the power of evil. We can feel weak and unable to overcome what is 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 be discouraged by what is happening in the world. We live in a time of confusion about the most basic things. Most people seem to live as if God did not exist. Immorality is considered normal. The Church and her message are not accepted.

Last week, I went on a retreat near Philadelphia with some other priests. When I was coming back, on the shoulder of the highway I saw a huge billboard with an image of Jesus of Divine Mercy, on which the following was written: “Jesus I trust in you.”

It is trust in Jesus that allows us to conquer all the evil in and around us. When we trust in him, evil is definitively conquered and transformed into good. If we really trust in him, we can experience the truth of the following statement by the Pope: “God can always draw good from evil.”

“Jesus, I trust in you.”  Amen.

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