Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
Theme: THE FACE OF MERCY
By: Fr. Johnbosco Obika
Homily for Sunday April 19 2020
Today is Divine Mercy. The central message is summarised in three points 1. Jesus is the face of God’s mercy 2. We should always trust in his mercy 3. Having received mercy from God let us be messengers of mercy, forgiving others as God forgives us.
God has never failed to show His mercy to mankind. Going through the scriptures, God’s mercy was shown to Adam and Eve when they lost paradise because of their disobedience, he did not leave them in their shameful nakedness. He sew fig branches to cover them (Gen. 3:21). When Cane roused God’s anger by shading the blood of His brother Abel, He looked with pity on him and gave him a mark of protection (Gen. 4:14-15). In Exodus 34:6 he says, “I the Lord, am a God who is full of compassion and pity”. God’s mercy is replete in the Bible that some have wondered what has happened to his justice. However, in being merciful God is being just.
In the opening words of his Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote, “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.” Today’s gospel is the first appearance of Jesus to disciples after His resurrection. The purpose of His first appearance is to reconcile with His disciples. A lot has happened between Jesus and them during his passion. He was disappointed by his close associates because they abandoned him at the time he needed them most. Peter even denied ever knowing him at all. Each and everyone of them had a case to answer. So they were all feeling guilty. They locked themselves up in the Upper Room not only for the fear of the Jews but for the fear of the betrayed Jesus; and their fear increased when they heard he is alive. It was in this scenario that Jesus appeared to them with the message of peace and gift of mercy. Mercy is the first gift of Jesus to all believers after His resurrection. The disciples were the first to receive this gift when He said to them “Shalom”. Shalom means peace. It is a sign of acceptance. He reconciled them to himself again.
In so many ways we have betrayed God, kicked him out public a d private life, replaced him with science and never cared about his purpose for us and the entire universe. The Coronavirus pandemic could be a result of man’s extreme lethal ambition to replace God in the world and be the measure of all things. The world needs the face of mercy now more than ever. As we celebrate the Mercy Sunday, let us go on our knees and ask for this face to shed its rays on the world.
PEACE BE WITH YOU.