Divine Mercy Sunday – 2nd Sunday of Easter

Source: blog.ca

Peace … It’s what most of us want. It has a connection with the gift of mercy. The experience of divine or human mercy means that I have been set free from one more area where I lack peace.

Knowing the gift of mercy in my life allows me to be at peace. I have no need to fear that God has abandoned me, or that God withholds mercy from me.

Peace. It may be expressed as world peace by some people, but most of us are referring to peace in our own lives. Peace in the face of my personal anxiety and worry (such as those things that I obsess about at three in the morning). Peace in the face of my insecurities and doubts (do they like me and appreciate my gifts?).

Peace in the face of my fears for my children or grandchildren (will they be okay in this crazy world?). Peace in the face of the turmoil and storms of life (how am I going to get through this day, let alone this week?). Peace in the waiting for news (what will the medical tests reveal?)

Peace is elusive for most of us.  I can read many books on finding peace amidst the storms of life. They certainly help, but most of us find that true peace will only come about as a result of a relationship with God, not from knowledge about God’s gift of peace.

It doesn’t matter how many wonderful books I read. Do I pray? Is there a relationship with the Lord, one that reminds me of my personal goodness and the generosity of a loving God?

I’ve been struck by how often recent popes have spoken about being not afraid or anxious. We also know that the Gospels include many words from Jesus about being set free from anxiety, fears and worries. I am increasingly aware in my ministry of how many of us need that gift of peace.

Today’s excerpt from John’s Gospel uses the phrase, “Peace be with you.” As a matter of fact, the phrase is used three times in the account that includes the story of the doubts of Thomas regarding the Resurrection of Jesus. I wrote a post about Thomas a year or so ago. I used the contemporary notion of FOMO (fear of missing out) as a way to explain Thomas and his questions.

I am unable to locate it right now. But my emphasis was on his experience of missing out on the original encounter with the Risen Lord. Others called it doubt. I don’t think so. He was simply jealous that he missed an important experience that was shared by his friends. They probably spoke over and over about it.

We hear in the reading from Acts 4 that “the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions …” Wow! On both claims.

They were of one heart and soul? No one claimed private ownership? Unity and a true communal sharing? The truth is that we know from the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Saint Paul that the earliest Christian community set the stage for the disunity and discord that has long marked the church. That lack of unity has been at issue since the beginning of human relationships.

Let’s pray today for the gift of peace, whether it is inner peace for ourselves or outer peace with others.

Philip Shano, SJ has many years of rich and varied experience working with Ignatian spirituality: teaching, writing and using it in his ministry. He resides in the Jesuit community in Pickering, Ontario.

  • graeme quinlan
    Posted at 06:59h, 11 April Reply

    Divine Mercy Sunday, should’nt that be every day, not just one day of the year. Divine Mercy is available to us on each and every day that we seek to live in the presence of the living and Loving Lord. Only today as I was able to participate in the celebrations at our Parish in Shepparton I was overwhelmed by the Divine Love that eminated Through the people that were gathered for this most beautiful Feast . The stillness, The calm. The Prayerfulness, Experiencing the presence of the the Loving Lord In the midst of the gathered community. As I heard the words of Jesus speak so clearly . ‘I’AM WITH YOU.’

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 13:30h, 11 April Reply

    Thank you Philip!

  • Bernice Dookhan-Khan
    Posted at 07:01h, 12 April Reply

    Thanks for your reflection Fr. Philip.
    God bless.

  • Margaret Manitowabi
    Posted at 08:48h, 12 April Reply

    Miigwech Fr.Philip Shano in knowing true peace comes from our individual relationship with God. As I start off with my morning tea I love reading articles from Ignation this article brought me to a place to meditate on my peace with everyday struggles and to know which struggles are not mine but to pray for peace for whom they belong too. And pray they open their heart to God in their life.
    Miigeeng (Amen)

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