16. Easter Sunday: Blessed are the merciful for they will find mercy. Alleluia!
Christ our Passover is risen. Alleluia! Let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia!
Today we celebrate the definitive victory of mercy. Jesus, faithful unto death to his mission to proclaim the good news of God's mercy, is now alive. He will not face death again, yet he still carries the mark of his wounds in his risen body.
God's mercy as portrayed by Jesus seemed so unbelievable that he encountered misunderstanding, false accusations, violence, and ultimately death. Ironically this opposition came mostly from those who considered themselves the good and the righteous, superior to others.
This apparent failure was turned into a triumph by the Father, who accepted Jesus' faithfulness, and raised him back to life. He who did not draw back from those who beat him but asked the Father to forgive them, is now alive and will die no more.
A peak moment of Easter day was Jesus' first encounter with his friends, the ones who had abandoned him at the hour of greatest need. No words of reproach, no 'lessons to be learnt'. Just 'Peace be with you', twice. And when they must have been at the height of their fear and shame, he shows his trust in them by sharing what is most precious to him, his own mission: 'As the Father sent me, so also I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit'.
St Paul was certain: 'If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain'. Our faith is in the Risen Christ, the one who suffered and was killed, but is now at our side with his power and infinite mercy. He shows us his wounds and sends us to be apostles of his mercy.
Let us be glad and rejoice, let us share this joy with those who need it so much. Alleluia!
By Paul Pace, SJ
Today's video brings you a wonderful rendition of Handel's joyous Halleluiah Chorus performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York, directed by Andre Rieu along with the Harlem Gospel Choir, and Tenors and Sopranos from his own group of performers. 'Hopefully you will all feel the tremendous Light in this piece, and recognize that it is intended to give the Glory to the Christ who is a part of each and every one of us.'
PLEASE NOTE: Today we bring you the last of this series of Lenten reflections. While hoping that they helped you, in some way, to contemplate and embrace the deep yet simple value of Mercy in preparation for Easter, we would like to inform you that Fr Paul Pace SJ will be bringing us another set of reflections later this year - Visit our Facebook page for updates, or subscribe to our enewsletter.