April 12, 2015 Sunday
2nd Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 4:32-35 2nd Reading: 1 John 5:1-6
Gospel: Jn 20:19–31
On the evening of that day, the first day after the Sabbath, the doors were locked where the disciples were, because of their fear of the Jews, but Jesus came and stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace be with you”; then he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples kept looking at the Lord and were full of joy.
Again Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” After saying this he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.”
Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he replied, “Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later, the disciples were inside again and Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch out your hand and put it into my side. Resist no longer and be a believer.”
Thomas then said, “You are my Lord and my God.” Jesus replied, “You believe because you see me, don’t you? Happy are those who have not seen and believe.”
There were many other signs that Jesus gave in the presence of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; believe and you will have life through his Name.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today’s Gospel reports two post-resurrection appearances by Jesus to the Apostles. The first appearance was in the evening of the resurrection. The second was a week later when Thomas was already with the group. In both apparitions Jesus showed the disciples the scars of his wounds. Jesus did not retain those scars for sentimental reasons. The scars were to constitute the perpetual portal of God’s mercy for repentant sinners.
This divine intent was confirmed by the visions of Sister Faustina. In one of her visions Jesus instructed her to have a picture of his Divine Mercy blessed and displayed for public veneration on the second Sunday of Easter. On page 669 of St. Faustina’s diary we read of Jesus’ promise of total remission of sins and punishment to those who go to confession and take communion on the day of the Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II, after canonizing Sister Faustina on April 30, 2000, declared the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
This opportunity for gaining plenary indulgence becomes too precious to miss in the light of our distinction between forgiveness and restitution. Forgiveness of sin still carries with it the responsibility of satisfying justice by paying for the damage of sin, if not in this world, in Purgatory. But when plenary indulgence is granted, even the punishment due to the damages of sin is also remitted. We can get that singular privilege of total remission of sins today. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father grant us the gift of repentance so that we may have the humility to confess our sins. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. ALFERIUS, belonged to a noble family in Salerno, Italy, He was born in 930 and died at age 120 in 1050. He became a monk after he was cured of a serious illness which he contracted while on a mission to the French court for Duke Gisulf of Salerno. He later became a hermit after his attempts to reform the monasteries failed. His exemplary life of holiness and virtue attracted many to the monastery. He chose twelve from his group and founded the Benedictine Abbey of La Cava.