Extracted from Psalm 118:2-4,22-27:
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Let the sons of Israel say: ‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say: ‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say: ‘His love has no end.’
The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.
O Lord, grant us salvation; O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord; the Lord God is our light.
Extracted from the book of Apocalypse 1:9-13,17-19:
My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure.
I was on the island of Patmos for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus; it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet, ‘Write down all that you see in a book.’ I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle.
When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld. Now write down all that you see of present happenings and things that are still to come.’
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to John 20:19-31:
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week (Easter Sunday), the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’
Thomas, called the Twin (interpretation: Thomas had a twin sister, who looked like him), who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’
Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, 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, and that believing this you may have life through his name.
You asked, ‘What happened next?’
The Answer: Let’s continue with John’s record .
On 7 April 2013, the Universal Church celebrated the 2nd Sunday of Easter, which was also the Divine Mercy Sunday. The following are the Mass Readings being read on the same day around the world in the Eucharistic Celebrations:
1st Reading: Acts of the Apostles 5:12-16 (see previous page),
Responsorial: Psalm 118:2-4,22-27 (see above),
2nd Reading: Apocalypse 1:9-13,17-19 (see above) &
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31 (see above).
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 22 April 2001
1. "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore" (Revelations 1: 17-18).
We heard these comforting words in the Second Reading taken from the Book of Revelation. They invite us to turn our gaze to Christ, to experience his reassuring presence. To each person, whatever his condition, even if it were the most complicated and dramatic, the Risen One repeats: "Fear not!"; I died on the Cross but now "I am alive for evermore"; "I am the first and the last, and the living one".
"The first", that is, the source of every being and the first-fruits of the new creation; "the last", the definitive end of history; "the living one", the inexhaustible source of life that triumphed over death for ever. In the Messiah, crucified and risen, we recognize the features of the Lamb sacrificed on Golgotha, who implores forgiveness for his torturers and opens the gates of heaven to repentant sinners; we glimpse the face of the immortal King who now has "the keys of Death and Hades" (Revelations 1: 18).
2. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever!" (Ps 117: 1).
Let us make our own the Psalmist's exclamation which we sang in the Responsorial Psalm: the Lord's mercy endures for ever! In order to understand thoroughly the truth of these words, let us be led by the liturgy to the heart of the event of salvation, which unites Christ's Death and Resurrection with our lives and with the world's history. This miracle of mercy has radically changed humanity's destiny. It is a miracle in which is unfolded the fullness of the love of the Father who, for our redemption, does not even draw back before the sacrifice of his Only-begotten Son.
In the humiliated and suffering Christ, believers and non-believers can admire a surprising solidarity, which binds him to our human condition beyond all imaginable measure. The Cross, even after the Resurrection of the Son of God, "speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to his eternal love for man.... Believing in this love means believing in mercy (Dives in misericordia, n. 7).
Let us thank the Lord for his love, which is stronger than death and sin. It is revealed and put into practice as mercy in our daily lives, and prompts every person in turn to have "mercy" towards the Crucified One. Is not loving God and loving one's neighbour and even one's "enemies", after Jesus' example, the programme of life of every baptized person and of the whole Church?
3. With these sentiments we are celebrating the Second Sunday of Easter, which since last year, the year of the Great Jubilee, is also called "Divine Mercy Sunday". It is a great joy for me to be able to join all of you, dear pilgrims and faithful who have come from various nations to commemorate, after one year, the canonization of Sr Faustina Kowalska, witness and messenger of the Lord's merciful love. The elevation to the honours of the altar of this humble religious, a daughter of my land, is not only a gift for Poland but for all humanity. Indeed the message she brought is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies. Jesus said to Sr Faustina one day: "Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy" (Diary, p. 132). Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity at the dawn of the third millennium.
Let us relive this moment with great spiritual intensity. Today the Lord also shows us his glorious wounds and his heart, an inexhaustible source of light and truth, of love and forgiveness.
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