Divinely Merciful

Divine Mercy Sunday

The Cenacle, the Upper Room in Jerusalem,
site of the Last Supper and Pentecost

Imagine an event as it did not happen…

On Easter evening, when the disciples were gathered behind locked doors in the Upper Room, Jesus came and appeared in their midst and said to them, “I condemn you. Each of you. All of you abandoned me.” And when he had said this, he showed the wounds in his hands and feet and side and said, “I suffered these because of your sins.”

If Jesus would have declared such things to his apostles his charges would not have been untrue. But this is thankfully not what Jesus did. Instead, he came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you,” a phrase he says three times in this Sunday’s gospel. Christ’s Passion, death, and Resurrection are not for our condemnation. Jesus comes in mercy for his apostles and for us. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” St. Peter writes, “who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

After assuring them of his friendship and the reality of his Resurrection, the next most important item on Jesus’ Easter list is to entrust his Church with his mission of mercy: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

In this season of pandemic, public Masses are suspended; first Communions, Confirmations, and weddings are being postponed; but the Sacrament of Reconciliation continues to be offered. Did you get to Confession this Lent? Jesus has peace to give you in this great sacrament. So, where and when you can, make it a top item on your list to experience his Divine Mercy there.

3 Responses to “Divinely Merciful”

  1. Doug Pruner Says:

    One of my favorite sayings of our Lord is at Luke 23:32.
    Even before the abandonment, knowing it was scripturally prophesied (Zec 13:7), knowing that Peter would ‘take the lead’ in sinning (Lu 22:34), he told him, “… when once you have returned…”
    How many of us would have said that?

    I have an interest in history as well as religion. (They go together, since I believe the Bible is historical.) It’s obvious that Cenacle (pictured) is not 2000 years old. Can you tell me of what era the present edifice is?

    • Fr. Victor Feltes Says:

      Though the site has been venerated as the Cenacle by pilgrims since the 4th century or earlier, Wikipedia says, “The building has experienced numerous cycles of destruction and reconstruction, culminating in the Gothic structure which stands today.”

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