Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday.

The focus for this reflection is the Image of Divine Mercy. It simultaneously presents three scenes from scripture, like a triple-exposure photograph:

The most obvious scene is that of today’s Gospel (Jn 20:19-31), the risen Jesus of the upper room, coming with His hands raised in blessing, showing his wounds, giving to His apostles the authority which He had received, breathing on them the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins, and calling blessed ‘those who had not seen, but yet believe.’

The second scene is Jesus on Calvary, where from His pierced side, blood and water flow out as a fount of mercy for us – here seen as the red and pale rays representing especially the waters of Baptism and the Blood of the Eucharist (cf. Jn. 19:31-37).

The third scene is Jesus as the Compassionate and Eternal High Priest`of the Letter to the Hebrews, dressed in the white linen of the priest coming out from the Holy of Holies – not from a sanctuary made by human hands, but from the Holy of Holies of Heaven, the very Mercy Seat of the Father. He comes as the “Merciful One” with blessing in His raised hands (Cf Sir 50:18-21/Lv 16:1-4). St John Paul II sums it up: “Mercy is revealed in Christ crucified and risen which is love greater than death, sin, and evil.”

Then there is, and it is very important for ourselves, the inscription, “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU”.

St Faustina reports in her Diary how the Lord told her that, “the graces of My Mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is – trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me … I pour all the treasures of My graces into them” (Diary 1578). And when Jesus says “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe”, he is speaking of a faith that includes trust in him.

Thérèse of Lisieux tells us that “we can never have too much confidence/trust in the good God, He is so mighty and so merciful.” And she says in addition that we can only reach the high places of love by trusting in the Lord to bring us there (always assuming we do the little we can); and in his mercy, he will do so.

In his homily on the day he consecrated the world to the Divine Mercy (18 Aug. 2002), John Paul II said something truly thought-provoking: “Apart from the mercy of God, there is no other source of hope for humankind.” Let us, therefore, with confidence approach the throne of mercy, and let us pray too for all of humanity, especially during this Coved 19 pandemic: “Holy God, … have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Amen