19 Apr – Divine Mercy Sunday
The Congregation for Divine Worship decreed in 2003 that “throughout the world, the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, wit confidence in divine benevolence, the difference and trials that humankind will experience in the years to come”. Devotion to the Divine Mercy was promoted by St. Faustina Kowalski, canonized 30 Apr 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
1 Pet 1:3-9
“Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”
Today’s gospel passage has always spoken very deeply to me. As a modern day Catholic, it is deeply assuring to me that our Lord had said that even those of us who were not physically there to witness His Passion will be blessed. Indeed, we who continue to believe, even if we have not witnessed any of the events of Good Friday and Easter for ourselves, are all the more blessed, simply because we have chosen to trust and believe in God and Jesus. Yet, this ability to trust and believe can also fluctuate.
There are days when I see the goodness of God in my life, and when things seem to work out perfectly. I am sure these are signs of God doing His work in my life. But there are also days where things do not seem to work out, when arguments can flare up and a writer’s block threatens to derail the book that I’m working on. Do these days signify an absence of God? It is tempting to, as an old radio advertisement in Singapore used to say, ‘hear only the good stuff’.
But we all know that God is working in us, whether in good times or in bad. Even in days when we are so caught up in our temporal existence that we are not able to detect the presence of God or even to believe whole-heartedly in His divine providence, God continues to care for us. The challenge then of us, is to keep believing, even if we are not yet able to see His divine plan unfolding in our lives. Surely, Jesus had arisen from the dead and was meant to ascend to Heaven, regardless of whether St Thomas believed or not.
In the same way, God will continue to plant His seeds and work His miracles, regardless of whether we can see it right now. All we need to do is to believe. Even if we have not seen Him in the flesh, or are unable to see His work in our lives right now, all we need to do is to trust and believe. On some days, that is all the strength we can muster. But for the rest of our lives and indeed for all eternity, that is all we are required to do – to trust and believe.
(Today’s Oxygen by Jacob Woo)
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Your continued love and patience for us, even on those days when we find it so hard to trust and believe. We know that You are there still and choose to commit our days to You.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful for the graces and guidance that our Lord continues to shower upon us.