Jn 20:19-31 More Than Experience: Empathy

Divine Mercy Sunday
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On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked…

So much of our time is lived at the very superficial or obvious level.  We don’t take time to go deep into meaning and reflect on why things are the way they are. 

The doors were locked.  This morning, while I was reflecting on today’s Gospel passage, I focused on one particular verse:  “The doors were locked.”  In a spiritual conversation with myself and the Lord, I asked what this verse meant; that is, why the doors were locked.  Of course they didn’t want anyone to come in.  They were afraid of the Jews, especially one Jew:  Jesus.  What would he think of them?  What would He say to them?  What would they say to him?

May I speak to you? Do you crave empathy?  Are you searching for someone you can open your heart to?  I am.  We all are.  I crave for someone I can speak to; someone who will not judge me harshly.  I crave the empathy of a friend, a real friend, someone I can truly – honestly – talk to and who will empathize with me.

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.  Big deal, right?  But what is it?  What does God’s Divine Mercy mean and how does it manifest itself in our lives? Please don’t tell me the obvious, to go to confession within a certain limited time frame in order to get all my sins completely forgiven.  That’s not it.  That’s too superficial; in fact, it’s too mechanical, artificial and legalistic, which is unlike Christ.

The depth of Christ’s Divine Mercy is immediately manifested when the resurrected Christ came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'”  His closeness, His empathy, after all that happened to Him, is His Divine Mercy.  

The Good News just got better! 

Peace be with you.  Technology has made communication so easy,  but it hasn’t made us more trusting or open to one another.  Prayer, on the other hand, allows us easy access to the Lord, and Christ just invited His Eleven to an open conversation. 

Is there anyone in this world you can speak to with great ease?  Do you feel like you have easy access to your immediate supervisor or boss or superintendent?  Do you trust them enough to say anything to him/her?  Are you confident you will be understood? 

I wonder how many teens feel as though they can speak to their parents, freely and without reservations?  I think it’s very few. 

The Lord has an unfathomable desire to speak and listen to us. 

Are you looking for someone you can open up to and not have to pay a lot of money to?  If so, then know the Lord desires such a relationship with you.

St. John Paul II and John XXIII.  There is no place on earth right now I wish I could be than in Rome.  Can you believe it?  Two Popes and two Saints! 

How did they do it?  Why was their canonization today?  Is there a connection between God’s Divine Mercy and their lives?  Yes. 

I don’t know about you, but I find it interesting how insanely popular these two Shepherds were in their lifetime and yet how different they were in their approach to guiding the Church.  But when it came to what matters most – God and neighbor – they shared a common trait:  they made everyone feel as if they were important, welcomed and loved.  

They made everyone feel like they could talk and be listened to. 

Can we not say the same for Pope Francis? 

Divine Mercy is Divine Love.  Divine Mercy begins with Divine Love, that great adventure of God leaving Heaven and becoming man.  The great romantic, St. Paul, understood this when he wrote:  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails. Christ’s mercy comes from His love.  His love brought life to His Apostles.  His mercy brought forgiveness to His Apostles.  Life and forgiveness are exactly the same thing.

Now let’s talk (pray). (0)

Fr. Alfonse (1044 Posts)

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