Divine Mercy Sunday, April 24, 2022
“His mercy endures forever.”
~ Cf. Psalm 118
In calling for a year dedicated to Mercy back in 2015, Pope Francis encouraged us to reflect and pray upon the “face of the Father’s mercy,” who is our Lord, Jesus Christ. These celebrations over Holy Week and the Easter Triduum place mercy at the forefront of God’s message. Why? We must ponder, why did Jesus celebrate the Last Supper with his disciples, washing their feet, instituting the Eucharist and the Priesthood? Why did Jesus offer forgiveness for his persecutors and welcome death on a cross? Why did Jesus rise from the dead, appear to his followers, and ascend to the Father? Why did Jesus promise the gift of the Holy Spirit and call for unity, continuing his mission of love and salvation? The answer to each of these questions is the same —mercy.
God wants nothing more than for everyone to know his love and receive his mercy. Not as mere external gifts but as forces that endure, connecting us to him and one another. Easter proves God’s mercy can overcome any obstacle, and psalm 118 acknowledges the heavenly Father’s intention to build upon the rejected cornerstone (or crucified), revealing a savior, Jesus Christ. The Psalmist includes an often-repeated refrain, “His mercy endures forever,” join me in having confidence in the victory of mercy!
Throughout the Easter season, we should reflect upon the impact of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection and the mystery of the Church, to whom Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to lead. Recalling how the Spirit has guided the Church’s journey through history and, today, the Synod, which still has a mysterious element, is upon us. The Synod intends a cultural shift in the “way we do Church,” which is only possible through listening—listening to one another and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, who directs the ministry and mission of all disciples. The Synod process recognizes that the Holy Spirit speaks through all peoples and that prayerful listening will lead to greater confidence that we understand and live by the Synod.
The Holy Spirit remains active and engaged in our lives. As we renew our baptismal promise each Easter, we trust that the Spirit continues to speak in our Church. As Pope Francis has been encouraging us as the faithful, we must listen prayerfully to the promptings of the Spirit. Consider initiating prayerful conversations with family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors about the Church. From the fruit of these conversations, consider submitting feedback for the Synod by this May 2022 by visiting https://www.archbalt.org/synod-feedback. I’m grateful for your care and attention as we journey together, all members of the body of Christ.
In the Crucified Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett