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His Mercy Endures Forever


 

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.”  

 

From Sunday’s Psalm 118   

We just finished celebrating Easter Sunday last week but the celebration of Easter is not over! The Church invites us to set apart 50 days of celebration, 10 days more than the 40 days of our Lenten sacrifice. The first eight days of Easter, known as the Octave of Easter, are special in that for daily Masses we add the Gloria to emphasize our Easter joy. The Octave of Easter thanks to Pope and Saint John Paul II has also become Divine Mercy Sunday.

 

Psalm 118 is one of several psalms that uses a phrase as a type of response within the psalm. If you read Psalm 118, you will see the verse, “His mercy endures forever” mentioned several times. A good teacher uses repetition to make an important point; Psalm 118 wants to let it sink in without a trace of doubt that God’s mercy is great, far beyond what we can comprehend.

 

In today’s Gospel, John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to his disciples and gives them the authority to express God’s great mercy through the forgiveness of sins. We hear in this passage: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Matthew’s Gospel has a parallel passage in which after Simon has correctly named Jesus as the Christ, Jesus gives authority to his apostles in the binding and loosing of sins. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a treasure in our Church that continues the longstanding tradition of repentant sinners finding mercy at the foot of the cross, where in the confessional they lay down their darkest sins in order to have them be forgiven and be transformed from crimson to being white as snow.

 

St. Faustina had a special vocation to announce the limitless love that God has for each one of us as invitation for saint and sinner alike, to come to the waters of mercy that cleanse, refresh and give new life. On this Divine Mercy Sunday and the Octave of Easter, may we continue to celebrate the joy and peace that come from having such a loving God, whose mercy indeed endures forever!

 

 

 

 

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