Readings for April 11, 2021
Divine Mercy Sunday
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
1 John 5:1-6
As Christians, many of us love to say out loud that we have “received undeserved mercy from God.” And it’s true, we have. For God to have sent His Son to suffer and die for my salvation, is full proof of undeserved mercy—even if nothing else in my life has gone the way I thought it should and every other sign in my life pretended to point to the contrary, the undeserved mercy would still be there, wholly indisputable. But as I am reminded again and again, I am not just here to praise God and count my blessings, I am here to serve Him. And living my life in a manner that offers mercy to others is much, much more difficult than simply proclaiming that I, myself, have received mercy.
If I’m being honest, this call to act and extend mercy to others is a shortcoming for me. My thoughts on my faith are that I should either live more in line with what I say, or I should say far less. Sadly, I do not always follow my own philosophy. So I want to use this Divine Mercy Sunday to reflect on my actions more than my words. I need to offer mercy to others more often, not judgement. I cannot gaze at Jesus’ on the Cross and not recall he told one of the criminals next to him that they would be together in paradise that very day, or that he asked his Father to forgive those who hung him up there to die. With every opportunity to cast judgement, Jesus extended love and forgiveness. And I must strive to live out what he modeled for me.
I know Jesus is my judge and he has not, in any way, called me to be the judge—regardless of whatever Bible verses might be construed by those who claim it is their responsibility or their right as Christians to judge. With my many faults and foibles, I am wholly incapable of judging justly. So I need to trust Jesus and leave the judgement to him. Which is, “coincidentally,” what the Divine Mercy Chaplet prays me to do. So I’ll give that a go.
Jesus, I trust in you.
You expired Jesus but the source of life gushed forth for souls and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
-Opening prayer for the Divine Mercy Chaplet