HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER – DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
HOMILY THEME: GOD’S MERCY AT WORK
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY: The Easter joy is always at work in our midst; dispelling our fears and doubts, leading us to grow stronger in the faith, assisting us to live out this faith in concrete signs through acts of charity and in all, making us to feel in full our victimhood of Divine Mercy for “humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy.” May our daily experience of the mercy of God rejuvenate anew within us the joy of the mysteries we celebrate; Amen.
Every Second Sunday of Easter is known as Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of the polish Saint Faustina Kowalska on the 30th of April 2000 to whom the Lord in a new way entrusted with the message of Divine Mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is part of this great patrimony which has continued to change lives and lead millions of people to a renewed encounter with the mercy of God. Indeed, it is apt to celebrate the gift of Divine Mercy on the Sunday immediately after the Easter Sunday because in the Paschal events, we experience God’s greatest act of mercy who “to ransom a slave gave away His Son.” The Divine Mercy “is always a gratuitous act of our heavenly Father, an unconditional and unmerited act of love. Mercy is that concrete action of love that, by forgiving, transforms and changes our lives” (Misericordia et Misera, n. 2)
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In the readings of today’s Eucharistic Banquet, we see the many fruits of Divine Mercy at work; the Mercy which we experience in full in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the fruits of the experience of God’s mercy is love and love at work is charity. This was very clear in the Second Reading (I Jn 5:1-6) and in the First Reading (Acts 4:32-35) as the rays of charity continued to glow among the disciples that “none of their members was ever in want;” and as the disciples continued to witness to this love in the observance of God’s commandments. Another fruit of this unique experience of the divine is the ability to witness to this font of mercy. In this regard, the apostles, we were told, “Continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power.” And of course, a collective fruit to all those who have successfully experienced the Victimhood of Mercy of the Easter glory is unity of purpose, in heart and in soul; the unity that transforms us concretely into the Family of God. Our experience of the Divine Mercy springs within us the conviction to profess our faith wherever we are and in which ever condition we find ourselves, this experience clears our doubt and leads us to exclaim like Thomas in the Gospel Reading (Jn 20:19-31) “my Lord and my God.” An encounter with the Divine Mercy brings us peace and leads us to be agents of peace. That same peace which Jesus bequeathed to His disciples “Peace be with you!” Inner peace is the sure lot of anybody who comes in contact with Divine Mercy. And finally an experience of Divine Mercy brings within us the gift of the Holy Spirit Who is the principal agent in the Church’s exercise of the ministry of mercy. This is made manifest in the words of absolution during confession when the Priest says “and sent the Holy Spirit amongst us for the forgiveness of sins.”
As we celebrate the free gift of God’s mercy to us, it is a great opportunity to renew within ourselves the superabundance mercy of God that never ceases and that is renewed for us every morning (Lam 3:22-23). This experience of Divine Mercy “while re-establishing the relationship of each person with God, also creates new relations of fraternal solidarity among human beings” for it is impossible to truly experience the mercy of God and not have a merciful countenance towards those around us. An experience of Divine Mercy makes us missionaries of mercy and that is what the Easter Joy is all about.
May you have a life-changing encounter with the Divine Mercy and may this experience lead you to exude the fragrance of mercy wherever you find yourself. Happy Divine Mercy Sunday.
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