The Divine Mercy of Christ
We read in the Gospels that Jesus’ disciples were locked in a room for fear of the Jews (John 20:19). And why wouldn’t they be afraid? The Jews had put their Master to death, and in all likelihood, the Jews would do the same to them. However, in His Divine Mercy, the risen Christ appeared to the disciples who had deserted Him during his Passion and Death, and His first words to them were: “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19, 21) Jesus’ words not only helped to dispel the fears of His disciples and to pacify their troubled minds and hearts, but it also fulfilled what he said to them at the Last Supper: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give it to you… I am going away, and I will come back to you.” (John 14:27-28) Jesus kept his promise. In returning to His disciples in the midst of their tribulations, He imparted to them the grace of His peace.
Christ breathed on His disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit. In His Divine Mercy, Christ also gave them the authority to forgive sins; He said to His disciples: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:23) Catholics hold that, through those words, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance, and thereby passing on His ministry of mercy to the Apostles; which the Apostles, in turn, passed on to their successors – the bishops; and which the bishops, in turn, passed on to the priests of the Church. When the bishops and priests minister the Sacraments, they do so not on their own power, but in persona Christi – which means, in the person of Christ. For example, in the Sacrament of Penance, as the bishops and priests perform the liturgical actions, it is Jesus Himself who forgives people’s sins. Christ’s Divine Mercy is made manifest in this Sacrament for the forgiveness of sins.
On this Second Sunday of Easter, which the Church has designated as Divine Mercy Sunday, we are reminded anew of God’s great and merciful love. God is merciful, and He wants all of mankind to turn to Him in repentance: “Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment. (Joel 2:12-13) Jesus desired to save the sinners so much that He sat down and ate with them. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do… I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13). We should all reflect carefully on what Jesus said. If we do not consider ourselves as sinners, then how can we avail of the graces of the Lord’s Divine Mercy?
Jesus also said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Matthew 9:13, 12:7) Jesus wants us to ask for His mercy and to spread it to others. Therefore, we should not only ask to receive God’s mercy, we should also be merciful to others in thought, word and deed. There are many different acts of mercy in addition to making a donation or helping others; for example: speaking and thinking kindly of others, holding our tongue when we are tempted to react with harsh words, being patient with others, etc. The graces that we receive from the Lord’s Divine Mercy enable us to continue His works of mercy on earth.
We have reached our church’s goal of $5,300 for the Archbishops Annual Appeal (AAA) for 2021. Thank you for your support!
Miss Manuela Lu will conduct an Icon Drawing class for beginners from April to June, 2021. Classes will be on the third Sundays from 11:45am to 2:30pm.The goal of these classes is to cultivate sacred talents in the church. The classes are free of charge except for the materials used. If you are interested in joining this class, please contact Miss Lu.
Please note that we have a Liturgy Committee in our church. Certain tasks are assigned to certain people. If you would like to add any names to our prayer list, please submit them to Antonia Fu. She is our prayer list coordinator.
Prayer List：Agnes Lam， Shuang-san Wang， Bo Hao Pan， Winnie Lee， Anni Lee， Pat Hui， Cao é Shen， Leslie Tsui， Judy Su。