Readings for April 28, 2019
Divine Mercy Sunday
Revelation 1:9-13, 17-19
From His Creation of the world, to the Law He gave His chosen people, to the prophets who foretold of things to come, and through the Gospels and epistles, the Word of God is a love story woven in unending mercy. To know and understand God and what He has in store for us through Christ His Son, we need to read His Word. However, for most of us, to tackle the Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21 is a decidedly monumental task.
Because I was not an eyewitness to Jesus’ life, and because I have not yet been commanded by the Son of man to write down a prophetic vision, I have chosen to let the Church take me through the Word. The daily and Sunday scripture readings of the Catholic Church take the faithful through the written Word in three-year cycles. I have found this to work well for me in that, to me, it establishes the teachings and effectively tells the story through the pairing of the Old and the New, revealing that which has been written has and will be done.
In the 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments,” Pharaoh has a catch phrase of sorts, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” The phrase indicates that when the king commands something to be written, it is established practice that what is written will be carried out, and there is an assumed power in the written word of the king. Today’s readings affirm a similar assumption with the true power of the Word of God.
John begins the book of Revelation by writing of a vision of Christ telling him to “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches” and ends his Gospel account by writing, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.”
We know that John wrote the book and sent it to the seven churches, so it was done. Furthermore, in Revelation, John goes on to reveal the prophecy of the followers of Christ in his church, writing by command of “one like the Son of man” to establish Jesus’ relationship with his Church and the battles that would ultimately culminate in Jesus’ glorious return to reign as King of kings. What is written here first as a prophecy seems to complete John’s Gospel account that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw his glory” (John 1:14). This testifies to Jesus’ life on this earth as human flesh, and to his glorious return to earth as King of kings. So it was written, and so it was done.
In the Gospel, John also compiles many eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life during his ministry for the purposes of helping others to believe. So it has been written that we are called to believe, but letting it be done is up to each of us as individuals. This makes it fitting that we read about Thomas and his doubts this week. As Jesus tells us, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” But how do we do that? What does believing without seeing truly look like?
Read. Reflect. Pray. Know and understand God through His written Word and know and understand the promises of Christ, those of everlasting life, love, and mercy. Then we, too, can become witnesses to his glory in preparation for our final reward to live in his unending reign. It has been written, so let it be done.
“Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen”
-Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer