PEACE BE WITH YOU
It's interesting to listen to each other these days and to hear what's helping us to get through this difficult time. What helps you cope? The small acts of kindness along with words of understanding and encouragement give us real hope. When we have hope in our hearts, we find the strength and courage to take one day at a time, trusting that although we are apart we remain together in a solidarity of prayer and hope. These Easter days bring us the real hope that Jesus risen from the dead has destroyed death forever and restores life and hope in each one of us. On this Divine Mercy Sunday we celebrate the great gift of God's grace and mercy poured into our hearts at Baptism. It is a gift that keeps on giving, drawing us every day to believe in the depths of our hearts that nothing will ever separate us from God's love.
The disciples of Jesus really struggled after his death. They were deeply distressed and full of fear. We can identify with the isolation they must have felt staying in behind closed doors. Paralysed by fear and shattered hopes they couldn't allow themselves to believe that the Lord had truly risen. Jesus breaks through the darkness of their despair. The locked doors cannot block the life and hope he brings. He doesn't appear to challenge their behaviour when they abandoned him. No, he brings the gift of deep peace. Their lives are changed forever as they begin to understand all that Jesus had taught them, not just in words but in his life death and resurrection.
We hear how Thomas is slow to believe what his friends tell him. He is so honest when he says that he needs more before he can believe that the Lord is risen. Jesus meets Thomas in this need and appears to him, bringing peace and inviting him to believe in the promise of life and hope before him. Jesus meets each one of us as we are. Just as he carries the wounds of his suffering, he understands the wounds that we carry. He accepts us as we are and invites us into a relationship with him where we can experience his unconditional love and mercy.
As we listen to AMAZING GRACE, the hymn we know so well, we thank God our Father who raised Jesus from the dead, for his great gifts of grace and mercy. May God's grace be with us and with our sisters and brothers throughout the world as we journey with hope through these challenging days.
We remember with faith and hope Jean Roddy, John Donegan, Joe Lowry and John Paul Mc Glue whose funerals took place in our parish this week. We also remember Ann Gray and all who have died recently. May they rest forever in the light and peace of God's love.