Kindle the faith of your people!

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand 
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

Kindle the faith of your people!

On this Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday – 
we recall the great events of God’s everlasting mercy 
which we have celebrated over the past two weeks, 
through Holy Week and this past week’s accounting of 
the stories of the Resurrection. 
We are reminded today that 
the effect of the Resurrection on the first community 
is seen in the love they have for one another 
and the freedom they have 
to care for the least among them so generously. 
We can pray for that grace for our time.

The Thomas story is powerful. 
Jesus invites Thomas, in the midst of his doubts, 
to enter his wounds to know who he is, for Thomas and for us. 
We are invited today to contemplate those wounds, to enter them, 
to experience the power of God’s everlasting mercy for us, in Jesus, and to be grateful.
Believing is seeing – seeing that we have nothing to fear 
when we recognize our Lord and our God.

Intercessions: 

God the almighty Father raised Jesus as the firstborn from the dead, 
and made him our savior. 
Let us call upon him, saying:
  Give us, Lord, the glory of your Son. 

All-holy Father, you brought your beloved son Jesus 
from the darkness of death into the splendor of your glory,
 - bring us also into your marvelous light. 

You have given us faith to save us, 
 - may we live today by the faith of our baptism.

You command us to seek the things that area above,
where Christ is seated at your right hand, 
 - do not let us be deceived by the allurements of sin. 

May our life, hidden with Christ in you, our Father, shine before the world, 
 - foreshadowing a new heaven and a new earth.

Closing Prayer: 

Loving and merciful God,
may the Easter fires of this season set my heart aflame
and be the fire that starts other fires in this world.
Hold my heart close and sing your love to me
so my doubts don't fill my head and make me afraid.
May I recognize your face in those around me
and enter into their wounds.
Give me the gift of your compassion 
to love them as you love me.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Peace and Mercy 
John 20:19-31

When, after His resurrection, Christ entered the Upper Room, He might have said to His disciples: "Where were you? Why did you abandon me when I was laying down my life for you?" But He did not. Rather, He said, "Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you." With these words He forgave their infidelity, dispelled their fears, healed their broken hearts , and shared with them His own joy. In short, the Lord blessed them with Divine Mercy. Pope Francis has this to say about Divine Mercy:

It restores hope to those who feel overwhelmed by the burden of sin. The mercy of God is present in our love for those we forgive and those we care for when they suffer: It is a love which is greater than any evil and greater than death itself. "Father, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." "You take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us." And give us the grace to ourselves have mercy on others, especially on those we find it hardest to forgive and most needing to be healed.

The two means Pope Francis underlines for becoming instruments of Divine Mercy are to forgive and to heal. And, he says, to be disposed to do so is to be a channel of Christ's Peace.

Today is Mercy Sunday of our 2016 Year of Mercy, promulgated by Pope Francis. The mission the Church entrusts to us during this year is to be a sign and instrument of the Father's Mercy and Christ's Peace. For this reason, our Holy Year is meant to keep alive the desire to recognize and welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world and, above all, to those who suffer greatly, who are alone and abandoned, and who are without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father's love.

Faced with the tragic events of terrorism in our world today, along with the immense strain on our poor, frustration of our marginalized, and suffering in our victims of injustice, we can feel helpless and crushed. Understandably we may ask ourselves, "Why?" The perpetration of all this evil and the pain of its victims appear insurmountable. And so we may also ask: "How can we adequately deal with this evil and the pain it causes?" For us on our own it is impossible. Only God can bring us what we need: Divine Mercy and Peace. It is Jesus who died on the Cross, rose on the third day, and visited the upper room to be with His beloved disciples who delivers to them the fullness of Mercy and Peace to enjoy and to share with others. He delivers these gifts to us today, throughout the year, and for the rest of our lives.

The great St. Francis (after whom our Pope is named) wrote perhaps the truest and most beautiful expression of the link between Mercy and Peace in his famous prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life."

by Kevin Kersten, S.J.
Creighton University's Law School Chaplain and Communications Studies
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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