Peace is Jesus' Gift To Us

04-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, CSSp

Today is the Second Sunday of Easter, where we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday instituted By Saint John Paul II. On the occasion of the institution of the Divine Mercy Sunday, he said, “There is nothing that man needs more than Divine mercy. Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind”. Today our world needs God’s mercy more than anything at this time.

We need God’s mercy as the world is still battling with the Covid-19 Pandemic and most especially the raging war going on in Ukraine. We pray for the Mercy of God to come down like rain from heaven, to bring an end to this war and finally halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. We pray for God’s mercy on many families who have lost their loved ones in this war in Ukraine. Many people have been displaced and forced to leave their homes. We pray that the mercy of God would bring consolation to them. We cannot forget the military who have been over stretched as a result of this war, that they may be encouraged.

The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles narrates the signs and wonders that took place as Peter, relying on the power of the risen Lord, cures many who are sick. “Thus, they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirit and they were all cured.” All these testimonies were done through the power of the risen Lord and that power is still with us today. During Jesus’ earthly ministry He had special concern for the sick and the afflicted and this compassion for the sick is taken up by His apostles after His resurrection. Mighty deeds and miracles of healing are still taking place in our midst through the power of the risen Lord. May we seek His healing power for He is Risen.

Peace is the first gift of Jesus after His Resurrection from the dead. “Peace be with you” He said to them. The most amazing thing is that the last time Jesus saw His apostles was when they abandoned Him and ran away. He comes now and offers them His mercy despite the fact that they rejected Him when He needed them most. It is a gift and a blessing Jesus gives to each of us today as we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus wants each of us to be an agent of mercy and peace. This feast was established by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. John Paul II was motivated by the message of Jesus to Saint Faustina one day where it says: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns to trust with the Divine Mercy.” This is the Easter gift that the church receives from the risen Christ and offers to all of us. The central message is that God is a God of love and Mercy and we should trust in His mercy without taking it for granted. We need peace in our individual lives, in our families and our world today. We can only have this peace in our families and the world if each of us allows this peace brought to us by Jesus to radiate and transform our lives.

There is an amazing message from today’s liturgy in the encounter between Jesus and Thomas the Apostle. When he was told by the other apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead and that He had appeared to them he refused to believe and said “unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” When finally, Jesus appeared again and told him to bring his hand and put it in His side. Thomas then answered and said, My Lord and My God. Let us not doubt the power of God in our lives. Let us believe that Jesus has Risen from the dead and He lives among us and He is always very close and near to us. Let us from today cast away the Spirit of doubt that makes us lose faith in God and have total faith and trust in the power of the Risen Christ. My prayer for you today is that the gift of peace Jesus gives us at His resurrection will remain in your families so that your families will be a home where peace dwells always. Amen.

Fr. Tony Okolo