HOMILY: Second Sunday Of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

Divine Mercy - Pater

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: 2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

GOSPEL: JOHN 20:19-31

On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put on my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

*
The Gospel of the Lord./ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
*

—————————————————–

REFLECTION:

Today we celebrate Second Sunday of Easter. On the Second Sunday of Easter, we continue our reflection on the risen Christ. But this is also a day, in particular, that we are being invited to reflect on the immensity of God’s mercy and love as we also celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. When we say Divine Mercy, we mean to say it’s God’s infinite mercy. His mercy, love, and forgiveness are greater than sin, suffering, and death. It means our salvation and life eternal. And it means Christ’s victory as well as our own. This Sunday’s Gospel text helps us to understand the reality in the mystery of this Divine Mercy. It is clearly stated in today’s Gospel message. Divine forgiveness, peace, mercy, and love are the keywords underlying the message of John.

The Gospel relates to us that our Lord Jesus appears before the apostles. Very noticeable in this particular text is the image of Jesus who is so quick to assure his disciples of his peace and forgiveness. I could only imagine how those disciples must have felt at that time. They confined themselves in a room out of fear, desperation, and shame. One of them, Judas betrayed our Lord for thirty pieces of silver and it is easy to condemn him for his action but on that most trying moments in the life of our Lord, the rest of the apostles did not do too well either. They abandoned our Lord Jesus in times when he needed them most. We could even recall how Peter professed that he would lay down his life for Jesus. But Jesus knew that he would even deny him three times when he was put to the test. It was only John the beloved who was seen all the way to Calvary. And so the disciples knew that they were no better than Judas who betrayed our Lord.

Against this background of doubts and lacking faith, later on, the disciples manifested deep expression of faith. They became courageous and bold. They continued the mission of Christ of spreading the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Eventually, except for John they suffered the same fate as their Master. And so on this encounter of the risen Christ, Jesus manifested that he perfectly understood how his disciples must have felt at that time. He knew the guilt and the shame the disciples were keeping in their hearts. It was in this situation that our Lord Jesus assured them of the gift of Peace. Several times the word “Peace” was mentioned in the Gospel. The nature of “Shalom” or “Peace” of Christ in its purest sense means joy, the tranquility of the soul and in its more profound sense, it means healing and reconciliation. Just like what St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians (1:20-22)
“20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”

Jesus himself is the source and author of Peace. “Peace I give to you, not as the world gives; do I give to you.” The Peace of Christ means more than offering reconciliation, it is salvific, it gives life and it brings us back our dignity as Children of God.

As we continue to reflect on the Risen Christ and the Divine Mercy, we are being invited to always desire and ask for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love. Divine Mercy Sunday also invites us to put our complete trust in Jesus and to imitate his mercy in our lives.

Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
“Jesus, I trust in you!”

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Homily:2nd Sunday Of Easter (A) Divine Mercy Sunday by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

2nd easter

GOSPEL REFLECTION: 2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER (A)
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

GOSPEL: JOHN 20:19-31

On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
*
The Gospel of the Lord./ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
*
—————————————————–

REFLECTION:

Today we celebrate Second Sunday of Easter. On the Second Sunday of Easter we continue our reflection on the risen Christ. But this is also a day, in particular , that we are being invited to reflect on the immensity of God’s mercy and love as we also celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. When we say Divine Mercy , we mean to say it’s God’s infinite mercy. His mercy, love and forgiveness are greater than sin, suffering and death. It means our salvation and life eternal. And it means Christ’s victory as well as our own.

This Sunday’s Gospel text helps us to understand the reality in the mystery of this Divine Mercy. It is clearly stated in today’s Gospel message. Divine forgiveness, peace, mercy and love are the keywords underlying the message of John. The Gospel relates to us that our Lord Jesus appears before the apostles. Very noticeable in this particular text is the image of Jesus who is so quick to assure his disciples of his peace and forgiveness. I could only imagine how those disciples must have felt at that time. They confined themselves in a room out of fear, desperation and shame. One of them, Judas betrayed our Lord for thirty pieces of silver and it is easy to condemn him for his action but on that most trying moments in the life of our Lord, the rest of the apostles did not do too well either. They abandoned our Lord Jesus in times when he needed them most. We could even recall how Peter professed that he would lay down his life for Jesus. But Jesus knew that he would even deny him three times when put to the test. It was only John the beloved who was seen all the way to Calvary. And so the disciples knew that they were no better than Judas who betrayed our Lord.

It happened that during Jesus appearance to the disciples, Thomas was not present for some reasons. And when he was told about the risen Lord, he said . “Unless I see it for myself, and can touch his wounds I will not believe.” We can’t blame Thomas , his reactions were actually valid. He wants proofs. How can one easily believe such story of one rising from the dead? But when he finally encountered the risen Lord , he gave us a beautiful declaration of faith – “My Lord and my God.”

Against this background of doubts and lacking faith, later on the disciples manifested deep expression of faith. They became courageous and bold. They continued the mission of Christ of spreading the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Eventually , except for John they suffered the same fate as their Master. And so on this encounter of the risen Christ , Jesus manifested that he perfectly understood how his disciples must have felt at that time. He knew the guilt and the shame the disciples were keeping in their hearts. It was in this situation that our Lord Jesus assured them of the gift of Peace. Several times the word “Peace” was mentioned in the Gospel. The nature of “Shalom” or “Peace” of Christ in its purest sense means joy, tranquility of the soul and in its more profound sense , it means healing and reconciliation. Just like what St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians (1:20-22)

“20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”

Jesus himself is the source and author of Peace. “Peace I give to you, not as the world gives; do I give to you.” The Peace of Christ means more than offering reconciliation, it is salvific, it gives life and it brings us back our dignity as Children of God.

As we continue to reflect on the Risen Christ and the Divine Mercy, we are being invited to always desire and ask for God’s mercy, forgiveness and love. Divine Mercy Sunday also invites us to put our complete trust in Jesus and to imitate his mercy in our lives.

Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
“Jesus, I trust in you!”

HOMILY: Palm Sunday Of The Passion Of The Lord by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

palm sunday

GOSPEL REFLECTION
PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD (A)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

GOSPEL: MATTHEW 27:11-54

Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, “Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.
And when they came to a place called Golgotha
— which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.
From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.
Here all kneel and pause for a short time.
And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”
*
___________________________________________

REFLECTION:

Today marks the beginning of our spiritual sojourn through Holy Week to the celebration of Easter. We begin our reflection of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. The Liturgy of this Sunday allows us to experience both joy and sadness, success and failure, and victory and defeat.I would say that the Liturgy of the Word could be divided into two parts. The first part brings us joy and triumph as we reflect on the glorious entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. The traditional blessing of palms as well as the re-enactment of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem bring us a sense of victory. As Jesus enters Jerusalem, the people gave him a welcome fitted to a King. With the waving of palms in their hands and the singing of ‘hosanna’ they praised God. “And as he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciple began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying ; ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.'”

The second part , however , invites us to reflect on the passion and death of our Lord Jesus. This is the reason why, for me, Palm Sunday is both an experience of joy and pain. We are almost sure of what’s going on in Jesus’ mind as he enters Jerusalem. He knew that great suffering and death await him there. He had already predicted several times in the past his impending persecution and death; yet like to a lamb, he willingly welcomed and embraced his fate. The people of Jerusalem must be very excited, they must have heard how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. His preaching and the many miracles Jesus performed must have reached their ears. And so their singing of ‘hosanna’ as Jesus enters Jerusalem must be a declaration of their faith in Jesus as the coming Messiah. “Hosanna” literally means “I beg you to save us.” But soon their faith would be challenged.That old saying in Latin , “Sic transit gloria hominae” (Thus passes the glory of men) proved to be true. How easily for them to have a change of heart. For those very same people who were singing ‘hosanna’ were also the same people who will cry out for his death – ‘crucify him!’

The drama of Palm Sunday reflects the reality of life. Life as we know is replete both of an experience of joy and sorrow. In fact, we appreciate those moments of happiness because we too have experienced suffering. We rejoice in our victory because we also experienced the agony of defeat. But lest we only focus on suffering and death,the message of Palm Sunday is clear – that in the end is triumph , life and glory. The Christ who suffered and died is also the one who resurrected. And his triumphal entry into Jerusalem is a sign of his return in glory at the end of time. Jesus says , “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places, if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

On Palm Sunday we are invited to reflect on the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus. The image of Jesus hanging on the Cross is a reflection of what is there deep inside the heart of God – it is filled with his love for mankind.Direct from the Cross , our Crucified Lord is like telling each one of us “I love you with all my heart. You may forget me but I will never forget you. This is the promise I made , that is , to be with you till the end of time. And I will always be true to this love because you are mine. I will always whisper to your heart until you understand that my love for you is eternal.” We are unworthy but Christ in his obedience to the will of the Father took our place and died for us. The Cross of Jesus is a sign of Love and a sign of Life. As we enter Holy Week, we therefore enter into the very core of the heart of God. Our deepest longing should not only be a sense of gratitude but a profound desire to change our ways so that somehow we may be worthy of his love.

Homily: Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

trinity1

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: PROVERBS 8:22-31

Thus says the wisdom of God:
“The LORD possessed me, the beginning of his ways,
the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
from of old I was poured forth,
at the first, before the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no fountains or springs of water;
before the mountains were settled into place,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
while as yet the earth and fields were not made,
nor the first clods of the world.

“When the Lord established the heavens I was there,
when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
when he made firm the skies above,
when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
when he set for the sea its limit,
so that the waters should not transgress his command;
then was I beside him as his craftsman,
and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,
playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race.”
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R/ O LORD, OUR GOD, HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME IN ALL THE EARTH!
*
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place —
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
*
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet:
R. O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
*
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
*

SECOND READING: ROMANS 5:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: to God who is, who was, and who is to come. Alleluia.
*

GOSPEL: JOHN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.
*

REFLECTION:
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity. Our point for reflection is a bit of a challenge. We are being invited to contemplate on a doctrine that in the end, no matter how much we try , still we won’t be able to get to the bottom of it completely. But we do not worry, God’s nature is supposed to be a mystery. St. Augustine puts it beautifully, “A God without mystery is not God.” In other words, If we can understand and explain God totally then he is not God. God is almighty , eternal , infinite …and our limited mind can never unravel His immensity. Today, therefore, we should first of all accept the fact we are about to reflect on a mystery hence beyond human comprehension. This does not mean that we do not know anything about the Trinity. Nowhere in the Scriptures we could find the word Trinity. However, the Trinity was clearly revealed throughout the whole scriptures. Jesus introduced to us the Trinitarian nature of God. For instance in Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, “Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Notice that Jesus used the word ‘name’ (singular) instead of ‘names’ (plural) to tell us that there is but one God. The doctrine of the Trinity tells us that “God is one in essence, and three in person.” There is one God who eternally exists as three distinct persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is One. We do not worship three Gods, but one God in three Divine Person. No one can fully understand nor explain to us the mystery. Only God can make it known to us by revealing himself to us. God revealed himself to us as a manifestation of his love for us. We only reveal ourselves to those we love and to those we want to establish a deeper relationship with. God wants us to establish a personal and intimate relationship with Him. As we discover the mystery of Divine love, we eventually unravel the mystery of our existence, we discover the mystery of our relationship with one another and in the end we understand the mystery of life itself. Trinitarian revelation is God’s revelation of His love for mankind. God is love (1 John 4:16). Love therefore is our origin. Love is our mission. Love is our journey. Love should be our goal. And Love should be our destiny.
Each of us has his/her understanding of God based on our experience of him through one another. For instance, a boy who was physically abused by his own father cannot comprehend a loving and a caring God. On the other hand, a somebody who was given a second chance could easily perceive a forgiving and merciful God. Our task therefore is to make God known by the life we live. We reveal God to others by our love.

********************************************
Mother Teresa had a way where she could introduce God to others by her own personal witness of Him. She relates to us this story. In the story a certain woman could only see a God of pain and suffering. But Mother Teresa was able to impart to her a God of joy and hope.

“I never forget one day when I met a lady who was dying of cancer and I could see the way she was struggling with that terrible pain. And I said to her, you know this is but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close to Him on the cross that He can kiss you. And she joined her hands together and said, ‘Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me’.”

Mother Teresa explained her story by saying, “This is the joy of suffering, the kiss of Jesus. Do not be afraid to share in that joy of suffering with Him because He will never give us more suffering than we are able to bear.”

But she seemed to have struggled with being overwelmed at times. Mother Teresa also said, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle, but I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!”
*******************************************
Somebody said that the Trinity is not a puzzle to be solved but a mystery to be lived. We live a Trinitarian mystery in order for us to be living witnesses of God’s love. Failing to love means failing to know God deeply in our lives. It is good to know that our ultimate destiny is God the Father. God the Son prepared and paved the way for us. And we journey by the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

HOMILY: Second Sunday of Easter (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

second2

Second Sunday of Easter/ Divine Mercy Sunday (Year C)
A Gospel Reflection by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
Sunday, 3rd April 2016
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 5:12-16

Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s portico. None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them. Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them.

Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.

A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
*
The word of the Lord./ Thanks be to God.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 118:2-4,13-15,22-24

(R) GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD, HIS LOVE IS EVERLASTING.
*
Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His mercy endures forever.” (R)

I was hard pressed and was falling, but the Lord helped me. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my saviour. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. (R)

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. (R)
*

SECOND READING: BOOK OF REVELATION (1:9-11a,12-13,17-19)

I, John, your brother, who share with you the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus, found myself on the island called Patmos because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus.

I was caught up in spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, which said, “Write on a scroll what you see.” Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with the right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld. Write down, therefore, what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.”
*
The word of the Lord./ Thanks be to God.
*

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
(R) Alleluia, alleluia!
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe! (R)
*
GOSPEL: JOHN 20:19-31

On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
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The Gospel of the Lord./ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
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REFLECTION:
Today we celebrate Second Sunday of Easter. On the Second Sunday of Easter we continue our reflection on the risen Christ. But this is also a day, in particular , that we are being invited to reflect on the immensity of God’s mercy and love as we also celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. When we say Divine Mercy , we mean to say it’s God’s infinite mercy. His mercy, love and forgiveness are greater than sin, suffering and death. It means our salvation and life eternal. And it means Christ’s victory as well as our own. This Sunday’s Gospel text helps us to understand the reality in the mystery of this Divine Mercy. It is clearly stated in today’s Gospel message. Divine forgiveness, peace, mercy and love are the keywords underlying the message of John. The Gospel relates to us that our Lord Jesus appears before the apostles. Very noticeable in this particular text is the image of Jesus who is so quick to assure his disciples of his peace and forgiveness. I could only imagine how those disciples must have felt at that time. They confined themselves in a room out of fear, desperation and shame. One of them, Judas betrayed our Lord for thirty pieces of silver and it is easy to condemn him for his action but on that most trying moments in the life of our Lord, the rest of the apostles did not do too well either. They abandoned our Lord Jesus in times when he needed them most. We could even recall how Peter professed that he would lay down his life for Jesus. But Jesus knew that he would even deny him three times when put to the test. It was only John the beloved who was seen all the way to calvary. And so the disciples knew that they were no better than Judas who betrayed our Lord. It happened that during Jesus appearance to the disciples, Thomas was not present for some reasons. And when he was told about the risen Lord, he said . “Unless I see it for myself, and can touch his wounds I will not believe.” We can’t blame Thomas , his reactions were actually valid. He wants proofs. How can one easily believe such story of one rising from the dead? But when he finally encountered the risen Lord , he gave us a beautiful declation of faith – “My Lord and my God.” Against this background of doubts and lacking faith, later on the disciples manifested deep expression of faith. They became courageous and bold. They continued the mission of Christ of spreading the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Eventually , except for John they suffered the same fate as their Master. And so on this encounter of the risen Christ , Jesus manifested that he perfectly understood how his disciples must have felt at that time. He knew the guilt and the shame the disciples were keeping in their hearts. It was in this situation that our Lord Jesus assured them of the gift of Peace. Several times the word “Peace” was mentioned in the Gospel. The nature of “Shalom” or “Peace” of Christ in its purest sense means joy, tranquility of the soul and in its more profound sense , it means healing and reconciliation. Just like what St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians (1:20-22)
“20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”
Jesus himself is the source and author of Peace. “Peace I give to you, not as the world gives; do I give to you.” The Peace of Christ means more than offering reconciliation, it is salvific, it gives life and it brings us back our dignity as Children of God.
As we continue to reflect on the Risen Christ and the Divine Mercy, we are being invited to always desire and ask for God’s mercy, forgiveness and love. Divine Mercy Sunday also invites us to put our complete trust in Jesus and to imitate his mercy in our lives.
Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
“Jesus, I trust in you!”