How is God different from us? Is it in his eternity or in his almighty power? Of course he is the source of all that is good, right and holy. Of course he is all-powerful, all-present and all-knowing. But I think that God is far more different from us in this: His love, compassion and mercy. After all, he did not manifest his power, privilege and prestige through his son. Rather, he emptied himself in all of these things except for love, compassion and mercy.
I do not seek the death of the sinner, but their salvation (Ez. 18:23). I did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it (Jn. 3:17). “I came to seek and save what was lost (Lk 19:10).
I do not seek the death of the sinner, but their salvation (Ez. 18:23). How many of us could really say this? How many of us have recently prayed this prayer: “Heavenly Father, I want you to bless my enemy with strength. I want to see him/her healed, cured, loved, changed and made whole again.” The Lord prayed it! And He prayed this for me! At times I forget this truth. If I am a better man today, it is because of the Lord, and because of the many earthly souls that are praying for me. I know it. But how many of us are praying for the one who has hurt us? Or are we doing everything in our power for their destruction? Do we make sarcastic comments and send them hurtful e-mails and spiteful letters? Do we spread vicious rumors about them because we love to hurt? Oh, the irony! Can we not leave them alone for good; to do good? Must we constantly stab them in their back by perpetuating the negative? Do we realize the pain we have caused our Lord and them? Hardly. We only use our eyes to look out, and never to look in. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Today is the day the Father has made to forgive, and for us as well.
I did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it (Jn. 3:17). Recently, I spoke to a friend of mine and he told me that he hoped 2012 was true! I said to him, Why? He remarked, “So that God puts us out of our misery! This world is such a mess! I cannot wait for it to come to an end.” Oh my goodness! How our minds tend to wander in the night. Did the Lord come to gather what was lost and destroy it? No. Neither should we! After all, we may find ourselves on the wrong side and in the bonfire!
Thomas, one of the Twelve, had been absent when the Lord first appeared to the Apostles. He felt left out. And he had every good reason to feel this way. Does the Lord not know everything? Did He not know that Thomas was missing? Does the Lord not have better timing? Could he have not appeared at a better moment, let’s say, when all the Apostles were gathered together? Why did the Lord put Thomas to the test? St. Peter reminds us of the answer, “We rejoice, but for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1Pt 1:3-9)
Thomas suffered greatly from the Lord’s absence. But only momentarily, for the Lord appeared to Thomas and just for him. His words are a reminder of how we should always live our lives: “Peace be with you.” Yes, Peace be in your heart; peace be on your mind; peace with your neighbor; and peace between you and our Heavenly Father. The Lord did not have to explain himself. He simply appeared. He didn’t have to, but he did. The Lord’s appearance (in our lives) is synonymous to his Divine Mercy.