Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
Theme: The Grace of Mercy
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday April 19 2020
(Jn. 20:19-31) Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday
In today’s Gospel we have the story of the apostle Thomas who registered his doubt, initially, on the testimony of the other apostles about the visit of the risen Jesus where they were hiding. When Jesus re-appeared, Thomas confronted his doubt. Jesus obliged to the requirement of Thomas to believe only if he could see and touch the mark of the nails in His hands and put his finger inside His side. Having seen and touched, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Finally, he believed Jesus as the Messiah and one who is divine. And Jesus capped the meeting with the statement, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
Blessedness is not having ample riches, power, fame, or anything worldly. Blessedness is defined by our relationship with God. Therefore, blessedness is having faith in God. This faith is not determined by proof. For if there is proof, then faith is useless. One need not see in order to believe. In fact, in faith, it is the other way around; to believe is to see. When we have faith, we will see. That was what Thomas lacked. While having touched Jesus’ nail marks and inserted his finger in the side wound of Jesus made him believe, it was a gradually developing and maturing faith. The experience overwhelmed Thomas. But we all know that after the “awe rush”, Thomas will again be faced with the mystery.
Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday. When the risen Jesus appeared before the apostles, His first greeting was, “Peace be with you!” It was not just a simple “hello” or “hi” or “how are you?” It was a greeting of mercy, not only to the apostles but to humanity. Peace, Shalom, is a “complete peace. “It is a feeling of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well being and harmony.” Thus, it is a kind or reconciliation. Jesus had completed the act of reconciling man with God and God with man. It started in the Incarnation, when God, through the Son, became man. “Peace on Earth” was the message of the angel. Mercy was what men needed. Mercy was what God gave.
We thank God for this great grace of mercy. We deserved penances for our sins. We should be punished for our unfaithfulness. We must suffer for our guilt. Yet, God preferred mercy.
It means being freed from the consequences of our unworthiness after having been forgiven. God just wanted us to be reconnected with Him. He desires our humility. He is prodigal with His love and mercy. But it does not end there. Just like with the adulterous woman, let us hear Jesus telling us, “Go and sin no more!”