April 24 – Divine Mercy
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Someone asked me if I could give a simple explanation of what the Divine Mercy devotion is all about. It’s as simple as ABC. A – Ask God for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world. B – Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. C – Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that all the graces of His mercy can only be received by our trust. The more we open the door of our hearts and lives to Him with trust, the more we can receive. It’s that simple!
Today’s gospel has long be labeled as “Doubting Thomas.” Scripture scholars maintain he doesn’t deserve that label. Whether he does or not, rare is the person who has never experienced the grey cloud of doubt in his or her spiritual life. Thomas is acquitted of doubt based on this precise definition of doubt: “The refusal to believe even after one has received confirming evidence.” As soon as he experienced the in-person confirming evidence (seeing the nail marks and putting his hand in Jesus’ side) Thomas confessed his faith. Doubt is not proof of a weak faith, nor is it an act of disloyalty. Mother Teresa spent years feeling God was so distant that she doubted whether he truly cared, loved, or sometimes even existed. Yet she continued faithfully carrying out her mission of lovingly caring for the poorest of the poor. Thomas Merton, the American monk whose spiritual writings are still read by millions, wrote, “Faith means doubt. Faith is not the suppression of doubt. It is the overcoming of doubt, and you overcome doubt by going through it.”
So, when in doubt, turn to God’s Divine Mercy!
Have a blessed Easter season!