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Peace and Mercy in times of Pandemic

A Reflection for today’s feast,

the Divine Mercy Sunday

By Fr. Robert Leus, CJM

The whole world is being saturated by the effects of the pandemic we are facing today! It’s been more than a year already and yet no concrete answer to end the said virus can be seen on the horizon. Yes, vaccines are available but still there is no assurance that it will eradicate the virus or even minimize the spread of it.

“Peace be with you!” It was mentioned by Jesus in our gospel today three (3) times and again for the 4th time, Jesus is telling us, “Peace be with you!” or “Peace be with us!”

All of us are affected by this pandemic and some of us are really fed up already for the long time we are dealing with it. But still Jesus has nothing to offer but peace – peace of mind and body!

Yes, it is a hard life and sometimes we are also losing our hope and even our sanity just to face this “unknown enemy.” But again Jesus is still standing in our midst and he is offering the peace that the world cannot give. Are we like Thomas that even though he is with Jesus for a long time, he cannot comprehend what Jesus can give? What Jesus can offer? We can cling on the famous line we often hear whenever we confronted by difficulties and problems, “Nothing is impossible to God!”

And aside from peace, the unending mercy is always at hand as we celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday. Probably, we are giving acts of mercy for others but God is giving not only mercy but divine mercy.

No one can offer his own life for others!

No one can deny himself just for the sake of others!

None can forget what he has and leave for others!

It is not only mercy – it is a divine mercy!

It is a reality in our lives that when God showers us with so much blessings, such as good health, prosperity, a happy family, a well-paying job, it is not difficult to thank and praise him, believing that he is always at our side!

BUT when suffering or sickness befalls us, it is hard for us to thank and serve God and others. If we are often confronted with trials, our trust in that same peace and mercy weakens and we could get tired and disillusioned.

That is the time when we are given the opportunity to identify the authentic and better followers of Christ and not merely in name. It proves the depth of our faith and bond in the Lord, our personal relationship with Him. Even though we do not see him face-to-face but the mere fact that we are recognizing him as our Lord and King is enough to have the gift of eternal life!

Easter season has a lot to offer. It deepens and makes our faith in the Risen Lord more grounded. But it does not end there, we are always called to be witnesses of God’s peace and mercy in the lives of others and no one can get it from us because it is our own personal encounter with the Lord.

We encounter many people even in the ordinariness of our life and there is always a reason behind why these people are the ones we encounter and not others. Let us be grateful for those people we have right now in our lives and let us be the channel of God’s peace and divine mercy every day to them and for them.

Indeed, we are blessed to have the Risen Christ in our lives. May our faith in him be the reason for us to believe even though we have not seen him. Our faith in him even with this pandemic be as strong as before and let us cultivate it so that we can say “My Lord and my God” without fears, doubts and confusions!

Lord Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, we know that your peace and mercy is unending and constantly present to all us whether we believe in you or not. Continue to guide us in our daily lives and may You be our focus as we continue to move forward in this seemingly long journey that we called life.

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