Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you.”
- John 20:19
Is not this what we long for? Peace; “our souls are restless, Lord, until they rest in thee”, St. Augustine said. Peace really is resting in the Lord. He brings peace because He is at peace. God is sufficient unto Himself. He has no need but to be Himself, which is Love. Love brings peace.
We learn too through this Mercy of God Sunday that love is also forgiving. St. Paul says that love ‘bears all things’. To me this means that it suffers injury and imperfection in another but perseveres in achieving its purpose, which, as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, is “to will the good of the other as other.” This willing the good can be challenged when the other person offends us in some way. Our will can waiver or even shift into a negative position of rejection or malice. Love holds its course in the face of sin. Just as we learn of the
suffering servant in Isaiah, “My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting…I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:6,7)
Forgiving others requires a substantial grounding in our own forgiveness by God. As the Latin phrase goes, “Nemo dat, quod non habet.” (‘You can’t give what you ain’t got’, Kentucky version) We must know that we are forgiven if we hope to forgive others. If we know that we are forgiven, forgiving others makes sense and we have the grace to do it. When we can receive forgiveness and give forgiveness we will know the peace that Jesus brings into the upper room, ‘where the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear…”
Come celebrate God’s Infinite Mercy with a special Holy Hour of Mercy on this Sunday (April 15) at 2:30pm in the main Church. We will adore our Risen Lord and proclaim His mercy with the Chaplet of Mercy, meditation and song. Blessed be God forever. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI Easter, 8 April 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world!“Surrexit Christus, spes mea” – “Christ, my hope, has risen” (Easter Sequence). May the jubilant voice of the Church reach all of you with the words which the ancient hymn puts on the lips of Mary Magdalene, the first to encounter the risen Jesus on Easter morning. She ran to the other disciples and breathlessly announced: “I have seen the Lord!” (Jn 20:18). We too, who have journeyed through the desert of Lent and the sorrowful days of the Passion, today raise the cry of victory: “He has risen! He has truly risen!”
Every Christian relives the experience of Mary Magdalene. It involves an encounter which changes our lives: the encounter with a unique Man who lets us experience all God’s goodness and truth, who frees us from evil not in a superficial and fleeting way, but sets us free radically, heals us completely and restores our dignity. This is why Mary Magdalene calls Jesus “my hope”: he was the one who allowed her to be reborn, who gave her a new future, a life of goodness and freedom from evil. “Christ my hope” means that all my yearnings for
goodness find in him a real possibility of fulfillment: with him I can hope for a life that is good, full and eternal, for God himself has drawn near to us, even sharing our humanity. But Mary Magdalene, like the other disciples, was to see Jesus rejected by the leaders of the people, arrested, scourged, condemned to death and crucified. It must have been unbearable to see Goodness in person subjected to human malice,
truth derided by falsehood, mercy abused by vengeance. With Jesus’ death, the hope of all those who had put their trust in him seemed doomed. But that faith never completely failed: especially in the heart of the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ Mother, its flame burned even in the dark of night. In this world, hope can not avoid confronting the harshness of evil. It is not thwarted by the wall of death alone, but even more by the barbs of envy and pride, falsehood and violence. Jesus passed through this mortal mesh in order to open a path to the kingdom of life. For a moment Jesus seemed vanquished: darkness had invaded the land, the silence of God was complete, hope a seemingly empty word.
And lo, on the dawn of the day after the Sabbath, the tomb is found empty. Jesus then shows himself to Mary Magdalene, to the other women, to his disciples. Faith is born anew, more alive and stronger than ever, now invincible since it is based on a decisive experience: “Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life’s own champion, slain, now lives to reign”. The signs of the resurrection testify to the victory of life over death, love over hatred, mercy over vengeance: “The tomb the living did enclose, I saw Christ’s glory as he rose! The angels there attesting, shroud with grave-clothes resting”.
Dear brothers and sisters! If Jesus is risen, then – and only then – has something truly new happened, something that changes the state of humanity and the world. Then he, Jesus, is someone in whom we can put absolute trust; we can put our trust not only in his message but in Jesus himself, for the Risen One does not belong to the past, but is present today, alive… Happy Easter to all!"
(for the full message, see: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/urbi)