Alleluia! Christ is risen!
And He comes to offer His Divine Mercy! The work of Jesus, through His Apostles down to us is mercy. The unconditional love He has for each of us is a gift of mercy. We are not worthy that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ should come to us, to heal and forgive us, yet He does! In His Church, His ministers, His people – you and me. Learn more about how we can allow Jesus to work His Divine Mercy through us. Read on and be ready to be changed!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Catechesis At Home – Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday – Year C
Divine Mercy Sunday – Witness and Bear Fruit
Witness and Bear Fruit
REFLECTION – Signs and the Gift of Divine Mercy
Many signs and wonders were done by The Lord at the hands of the Apostles – even by the shadows of Peter (Acts 5:12-16)! Is this because Peter was so special? Because Thomas had gotten over his doubt? Or was this because they let Jesus work through them? Jesus sent them forth to do His and His Father’s work; He gave them the Holy Spirit and the ministry of mercy:
“[H]e breathed on them and said to them,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.’” (John 20:22-23)
Peter was as broken an Apostle as they come. And Thomas said he needed to touch Jesus’ wounds but wound up falling at The Lord’s feet before he could. These Men are great witnesses not because of what they said or did, but because they allowed Jesus to work through them.
A true witness to the love of The Lord bears the fruit of that Love, which is also Love.
You can’t give what you ain’t got. And if we do not have the Love of The Lord – if we haven’t accepted it and truly know we have it – we cannot give it back, and we cannot give it to others. The same holds true for God’s divine mercy – if we do not accept His mercy, we cannot be merciful to others.
How often do we deny The Lord as Peter did? How often do we doubt The Lord, as Thomas did? The Israelites were constantly in the presence of God in the wilderness, yet they rebelled ten times… Judas sold out Jesus though he was in His presence all the time.
When we rebel, we do not provide great witness. But when we return to Him seeking His mercy, we do.
We know the Love of the Lord when we know we can come back to Him after our rebellion of sin. Because He loves us constantly, infinitely, and without condition, if we know that we will bear fruit whenever we are in full communion with Him and the Grace he bestows upon us.
This Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ Divine Mercy – His unconditional Love for us not only in his Crucifixion for our sins, but also in His Resurrection for our eternal lives!
DISCUSSION – How Do I Show (Divine) Mercy?
Discussing The Lord’s Divine Mercy can be difficult since, as parents, we are not perfectly merciful like Our Lord. Asking ourselves and each other some tough questions before talking with our kids is a good start:
Do I judge the action, or the person? Do I correct the behavior, or the person? We have seen in the last few weeks the Prodigal Son and the Adulteress Woman, by any measure sinners, welcomed and loved while not tolerating the behavior. This is what “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” means. Are we Jesus to our spouse, to our children? Or are we like the Pharisees, presenting ourselves as flawless while denouncing our loved ones? What fruit are we bearing if we do not truly know and accept Jesus’ Love and Mercy?
With children, ask them who kids make fun of at school or other activities. Ask them why they do this. Do they dress differently, talk differently, maybe have dirty clothes or aren’t bathing regularly? Then ask them if this has anything to do with how Jesus sees these kids? Does Jesus ignore them, or treat them differently? Or does Jesus love all children, all people?
Get the children to talk about and understand how Jesus loves all of us despite our circumstances, then ask them if Jesus loves the kids who make fun of these other kids. The answer is obviously “yes,” but does Jesus love the sin they are committing? That answer is surely “no.”
So how would Jesus, in His Divine Mercy, talk with these sinners? How might he treat the kids who are being treated poorly? Can our kids show Mercy to each of these sets of kids when we interact with them? How? What fruit can we expect by treating them differently?
What is my Witness to Jesus’ Divine Mercy? How do I Bear Fruit?
by Beth & Kristofer Cowles
Other Help on HOO
What is the difference between lust and love?
During this “season of Valentines” Beth and Kristofer cover this (often unknowingly) confusing and vitally important topic before we dive headlong into the pink and roses and hearts and whatnot.
Beth and Kristofer share how to tell the difference between lust and love, and how to teach that to impressionable minds and hearts.
And they do this in the context of Mortal Sin and Theological Virtue: Lust and Love, respectively.
They also, right out of the gate, point to Nick’s seven-part series about Love as a great resource on our web site for this discussion, which is linked to in the show notes.
Living in this world, but not of it, is difficult, and Beth and Kristofer offer us some pointers on how to do that, particularly in this day and age.
And, no, there is no inappropriate or “parental discretion advised” content in this episode.
But they do get attacked by a tree!