Imagine what our families, communities, nations, would look like if we followed even a tenth of the example of the early Christians, who “would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need.” (Acts)
Imagine living in the power of the mercy of our God who “gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter)
Imagine the peace that flowed from the risen Christ as he broke through the closed doors of the room where his disciples were hiding. (John 20) Imagine him smiling and greeting the very ones who’d turned from him in his suffering and run the other way. No chiding, no blame, only compassion, forgiveness, mercy.
Pope Francis is a wise guide in the way of mercy. Listen to his words, pray with them, let them penetrate your heart.
Let the risen Jesus enter your life—welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk; you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid. Trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you, and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.” ―The Church of Mercy.
“In today’s Gospel, the Apostle Thomas personally experiences this mercy of God. … Thomas does not believe it when the other Apostles tell him: “We have seen the Lord.” … And how does Jesus react? With patience: Jesus does not abandon Thomas in his stubborn unbelief … He does not close the door, He waits. And Thomas acknowledges his own poverty, his little faith. “My Lord and my God!”: with this simple yet faith-filled invocation, he responds to Jesus’ patience. He lets himself be enveloped by Divine Mercy; he sees it before his eyes, in the wounds of Christ’s hands and feet and in His open side, and he discovers trust.” — Homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013
Pope Francis reminds us that Earth is in need of mercy, too. See www.mercy2earth.org – Readings, prayers, resources, including Pope Francis’ Messages and 30 Acts of Mercy for Our Common Home
–Sr. Regina Bechtle
Sr. Regina, a retreat leader, speaker, writer and spiritual director, serves as Charism Resource Director for the Sisters of Charity of New York.
Artwork above: The Incredulity of Saint Thomas is a painting of the subject of the same name by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, c. 1601–1602. It is housed in the Sanssouci Picture Gallery, now a museum, in Potsdam, Germany. (Wikipedia)