SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER 2023
In our Gospel passage today, the Lord shows His beloved disciples that He truly remembers and loves all of them by appearing before them at the moment when they were confused and lost at what had just happened in the preceding days. Back then, right after the Resurrection, the disciples of the Lord were still filled with fear and uncertainty, as they experienced a great whirlwind of events from the moment when the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem, hailed and glorified like a King, only to be betrayed by one of His own disciples, abandoned by everyone and rejected by the same ones who had welcomed Him with such great joy and festivities. They witnessed how the Lord was persecuted, tortured and broken, forced to carry His Cross to Calvary, pierced with nails and suffered until His death, and His Body interred in a tomb. Then, a most bewildering news were told to them by the women who went to the Lord’s tomb, telling them that the Lord had risen from the dead.
In truth, the Lord Himself had predicted that all these would happen, but none of the disciples realised the truth until everything happened. His appearance brought hope and joy in their hearts for they were afflicted by fear and darkness. We hear in the gospel how St. Thomas, who was not with others when the Lord first appeared, refused to believe what the other disciples told him. He refused to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, even to the point of proclaiming that unless he could verify everything right up to touching and putting his fingers into the Lord’s wounds. He refused to believe in the resurrection of the Lord.
It was there then that the Lord proved Himself and His Risen glory to St. Thomas, appearing before him and the other disciples and telling him to do exactly as what he had wanted to do. St. Thomas was awestruck, and he immediately professed his faith in the Lord, with the words that we are now familiar with, ‘My Lord and my God’. These are exactly the same words that we usually say whenever the Most Holy Eucharist, the Most Holy and Precious Body and Blood of Christ is presented before us, at the moment when the Eucharist is elevated by the celebrant, at the Consecration during the Eucharistic Prayer. We utter the same words as St. Thomas, ‘My Lord and my God’ and more significantly, just as the Lord had said, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.’ Unlike St. Thomas, who have seen the Risen Lord Himself and believed in Him, we have not seen the Risen Lord and yet we believed.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in essence that is what our Christian faith is all about. Our Christian faith is the belief we have in the salvation and eternal life that we have been offered most generously by the merciful and compassionate love of God, the Divine Mercy. This Sunday we commemorate this Divine Mercy, to remind us all that the Resurrection of the Lord is the proof of the Lord’s ever enduring Love and Mercy towards us, in His ever loving actions and works to reach out to us and to reconcile us to Himself. He has sent us all His own beloved Son after all, to suffer most grievous injuries and hardships, persecution, humiliations and rejection so that by His wounds, pains and sufferings, He might save us all and redeem us from our many sins and faults. By His sorrowful Passion, the Lord, our most loving and compassionate Divine Mercy have redeemed us and healed us from our fallen state of sin.
Now, as we celebrate the Divine Mercy of God and this joyful Easter season, let us all therefore spend our time to proclaim the most Divine Mercy of Our Risen Lord to the whole world, to all those whom we encounter in life. All of us as Christians have the solemn obligation and mission to proclaim the Lord to the world, and the best way that we can do this, is by doing His will, obeying His Law and commandments, and living our lives in the manner that is truly worthy of the Lord, much as how the early Christians mentioned in our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles had lived their lives. We have to show that we truly believe in the Lord, truly present in our midst, and by whose works of mercy we have been redeemed from our terrible state in life. Do we truly believe in the Risen Lord like how the disciples, the numerous saints and martyrs of the Church, our holy predecessors, had done? Or do we doubt Him like how St. Thomas once doubted Him?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us therefore ask the Lord, our Resurrected Saviour and God, to show us all His mercy and forgiveness, pouring down from His own Most Sacred Heart upon each and every one of us. What St. Faustina Kowalska had seen in her visions, and the words she has received reminded us that the Lord first and foremost loved us all, although He despised our sins and wickedness. He wants us all to change our way of life for the better, so that we may truly embrace His mercy in full. Forgiveness and healing for our many sins can come from the Lord alone, and it is in Him therefore that we should put our full trust in, entrusting ourselves wholeheartedly from now on if we have not yet done so. Let us all draw ever closer to Him, to the Divine Mercy, to the Lord’s Throne of Mercy, beseeching Him to remove from us the blight of these sins we have committed.