FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
Today is the Feast of Divine Mercy. This is a feast most dear to the heart of Pope Francis. He has emphasized many times that our God is a most merciful and loving God. During Holy Week we have seen just how much God loves us and died on the cross so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. His Resurrection is the central gift of Christianity.
Throughout the Easter readings Jesus appears to his disciples many times. We see that they are still weak and afraid and hide behind locked doors. This does
not prevent Jesus from appearing to them and reassuring them of his Resurrection. On one occasion at the beginning of his appearances Thomas was not with them. When he did arrive, he did not believe that Jesus was alive and proclaimed, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe!”
He certainly was pretty bold in his exclamation. The other disciples were probably shocked that he did not believe them and was so demanding. A week later Jesus again appeared to them in the locked room and told Thomas to put his fingers in the wounds. Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus gives that great blessing, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed!” Thomas did us a great favor through his doubting. John 20: 19-31
Unfortunately, today many people hide behind the locked doors of their hearts and refuse to believe in Jesus or even to believe in a God. They see themselves as the higher power and the end all and be all in this world. Violence is their tool to bring others into subjugation to them. This lack of mercy and compassion for others is a tragedy. This requires believers to be that much stronger in their belief and trust in God. This violence has to be met with mercy and forgiveness. No amount of human laws can curtail the violence; only a change in attitude, belief in God and right relationships can bring about conversion.
As disciples of Jesus we must follow his way and spend many hours in meditation upon the Bible to absorb what it truly means to be human and a true image of the God in whose image we were made. Little snippets of prayer throughout each day can greatly improve our journey in the Christian life.
Monday is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Conception of Jesus. This feast was transferred from March 25, which was Palm Sunday this year, to April 9th. This moment in history turns the world in a whole new direction. God enters into the world in a very tangible manner. He assumes a human body in the womb of Mary, a humble Jewish girl. God wanted to be so close to his creatures that he was willing to become one with them. What a marvelous God who loves us so much, that he shared the gift of himself in this manner. Let us give thanks for this gift of divine mercy.
May you continue to enjoy this wonderful season of Easter and experience many blessings from our unusual and surprising God.
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF