Sunday of Divine Mercy
April 11, 2021
Big ideas require time to absorb.
For example, my Mother’s 2nd anniversary of death was this past Monday…and I still reach for the phone to call her to share some news…or for advice…or for a sympathetic ear when something’s going wrong.
It takes a while to wrap our minds around the new…or the unexpected.
Speaking of phones…every time I get a notice that my cell phone will update during the night…I think GREAT! What fresh hell is this? I just know that it will take at least a week to re-learn how to answer a call with this new, unexpected, and unwanted update.
It takes even longer to understand…accept as real…and appreciate things that are totally revolutionary, stretching our imaginations almost to the breaking point. That’s what Resurrection is all about. Easter is all about the unimaginable…the almost “too good to be true,” stretching our imaginations almost to the breaking point.
Even after the events of Easter morning, it still took a while for the Apostles and disciples to realize that they had made an enormous mistake on Good Friday. It took time, and several visits from The Risen Christ, before they came to see that they had drastically underestimated the power of Jesus.
It took time, discussion, prayer, and reflection as a COMMUNITY. That word “community” is very important because they needed one another’s support before they regained the sense of joy and the peace that drew them to Jesus as they walked with Him during His earthly mission and ministry.
Even the Easter witnesses needed time to believe what they were seeing. But, because of their witness to Christ’s resurrection…here we are today. And through those days, weeks, months, and years, this fledgling Christian community came to understand and accept a radically new way of living. While it might well stretch the imagination almost to breaking point, what we are celebrating is The Creator’s great desire that all creation share in eternal glory.
But Easter is not just about celebration. It is also about recommitment to our baptismal promises.
Even as the Lord promised that all who believe that He is The Resurrection and the life will know eternal joy, he also stressed the need to prepare for that day when we are called to leave time behind and present ourselves for eternal existence. This revolutionary way of embracing life in this world has been passed down through the centuries and is exactly what Christians continue to celebrate and ponder throughout the Easter Season.
So, as we move further into this great mystery of Resurrection, it is important to remind ourselves how best to use our time on earth in hopes of someday becoming timeless in Heaven.
People intent on sharing Christ’s Resurrection accept suffering as Jesus did…confident that there is redemptive value in it. For a Christian, there is no such thing as meaningless suffering. All suffering somehow brings us into a deeper and more intimate relationship with The Lord.
Selfless service is a hallmark of Christian living. Authentic discipleship calls for a generous response to those in need. When we reach out to others, we are caring for The Body of Christ. Generosity of spirit somehow draws us into a deeper and more intimate relationship with The Holy Spirit.
Gospel living is challenging. It is revolutionary. The Gospel has always been contra-cultural. In many ways, the teachings of Jesus Christ contradict the ways of the world.
Consider how the demand for reparations and even the desire for revenge are the typical response to an injury in the world in which we live today. But, at the very center of the Paschal Mystery is the call for mercy and forgiveness.
The Church highlights God’s eagerness to forgive a repentant sinner on this Divine Mercy Sunday. Still, even as we enjoy God’s forgiveness, we are called to forgive one another.
When we strive to be…slow to anger and quick to forgive…we not only imitate these Divine qualities, but we move into a deeper and more intimate relationship with The Father.
It takes time to absorb big ideas. And for many, it takes a lifetime to master discipleship. And the one thing that might…or should stretch us almost to the breaking point is the idea that we are worthy to dwell in the Presence of The Almighty for all eternity.
But do not underestimate the power of Baptism that fills us with the graces we need to live as a Resurrection people, and do not take for granted the importance of sharing our faith…in community. We need the support of one another to learn how to be good disciples.
Most importantly, do not make the mistake of underestimating the unconditional love and mercy of our Creator.
During this Easter Season, let’s use our time well. Remember…it takes time to become timeless.