Divine Mercy Sunday Year A
April 19 2020 – 10:30 AM
Saint Cecilia Catholic Community
Deacon Sharon Kay Talley
Acts 2:42-47 | Psalm 118:2-4:13-15;22-24
1 Peter 1:3-9 | John 20:19-31
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
A doubting Thomas in our society today is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience. This is a direct reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe in the resurrected Jesus until he could prove His existence.
Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday which commemorates Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II granted this Feast on the occasion of his raising St. Faustina, a young Polish woman, to Sainthood on April 30, 2000.
Jesus went to the cross to save us. In today’s second reading from Peter, he says, “Blessed be the God of our Lord Jesus Christ who in His great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Today, I’d like to share with you a story about a man on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating his guilt, but the victim’s body had never been found.
In the defense’s closing statement, the lawyer, knowing her client probably would be convicted, resorted to an unusual tactic.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a big surprise for all of you,” the lawyer said as she looked at her watch.
“Within one minute, the presumed dead person, in this case, will walk into this courtroom.” Then she looked towards the courtroom door. The stunned jurors all looked eagerly towards the door. A minute passed. And nothing happened.
Finally, the lawyer said, “Actually, I made up the previous statement, but you all looked towards the door with anticipation. Therefore, I put to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was actually killed and I insist that you return a verdict of not guilty”, and she sat down.
The jury retired to their chamber to deliberate. A few minutes later they returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.
“But how?” inquired the lawyer. “You must have had some doubt as I saw each one of you stare at the door.”
To this the jury foreman replied, “Oh, we looked, but your client didn’t.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus wants to heal Thomas of his doubt and give him the gift of faith. On the first night in the upper room when Jesus appeared to the disciples, Thomas, or doubting Thomas as he is known, was not present.
When the other disciples told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord”, Thomas replied, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
So the next week when all twelve disciples were again in the upper room and Jesus appeared and said to Thomas, “Thomas, put your finger here and see my hands and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Jesus invites us to be “masters of divine mercy” and to be like Thomas in touching His wounds, wounds that would heal just as Thomas’ wounds of doubt were healed. Jesus’ wounds became a testimony of His healing truth, faithfulness, courage, mercy and love.
May St. Cecilia’s and all churches, our families, neighbors and all people on earth be the channels of the Divine Mercy and faith in the Risen Christ. AMEN.