Today’s the 2nd Sunday in Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday.
Find the Mass Readings here: Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8, 2018
Oh, the faith of the early Christians.
In the first reading, we see the first Christians living a life of complete surrender. The reading tells of the members of the early Church turning everything over to the apostles. They gave up all of their possessions, to be distributed as needed.
They gave, not only their trust, not only their belief, not only their faith, but everything they owned. And they trusted in the Church – ultimately, in God – to take care of everything.
I admire the early Christians.
As our family is preparing to pack up all our belongings and make a move, I want to be more like the early Christians. I want to have this same faith and trust in God.
Instead, I’m clinging.
I’m clinging to my comfort zone. I’m clinging to my familiar streets, my friends, my parish, my neighborhood. I’m clinging to the support of my family living right next door.
I don’t want to let go. I don’t want to live in uncertainty. I don’t want to surrender.
But, in this first reading, I hear Christ calling me to surrender. I hear Him reminding me that His Church is universal. That my Home is in His heart.
This stage in our life reminds me that I’m on a journey, that this earth is not my home. It’s forcing me to let go of all the things I cling to. To surrender all to God. To hold on to Heaven.
That’s where my heart needs to be.
I’m just scared, that’s all.
In the Responsorial Psalm, we read “My Lord is my strength and my courage.” I have no strength right now. I have no courage. I’m giving into fear.
I’ve lived on the same road my entire life. I don’t feel brave about leaving it, about venturing out into the unknown.
But the response reminds me I don’t need to be brave. The Lord will be brave for me. He will provide strength and courage. I don’t need to do it myself.
We go on to pray, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I felt these words speak straight to my heart. I’m busy living in the future in fear, and giving in to anxiety.
It’s time to reign myself back in. To live in the present. To have joy in my friends and family and parish and neighborhood today. Today is a gift from God, and I can’t waste it by living in the future.
But I don’t have to ignore the future. I can plan, I can search for rentals, I can pack. But I don’t have to imagine my fears playing out. I don’t have to start missing my family and friends already. I don’t have to live like we’re gone – not yet, anyway.
I can rejoice in the tasks of this day.
In the Gospel, Jesus showed up and announced, “Peace be with you.” He showed the apostles His wounds and repeated, “Peace be with you.”
I’d like to say His peace washed over me. It didn’t.
But His words challenged me. They called me to return to Him. To ground myself in Him and surrender all my cares and anxieties to Him.
I wondered why He was showing me His wounds. What is it about His suffering and death that inspires faith. It’s the fact that His Passion was followed by the Resurrection. That the darkness was followed by the life. He didn’t just die, but He rose again.
But we don’t just ignore His suffering and death. Those wounds remain eternally in His glorified body. They remain as a sign of His love. His grace flows from His wounds. By His wounds we are healed. We can trust Him. We can surrender to Him.
And after the suffering, comes healing. Resting close to His heart, we find joy.
This move, this transition, this time in my life is an opportunity for me to renew my faith. To live more fully in God’s love and His mercy.
It’s an opportunity for me to detach from the things of this world. To surrender my comfort zone. It’s time for me to embrace the small sufferings that come with change, and trust God to provide for my needs – physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
God, help me to surrender all to You.
I turn it all over, like the early Christians.
Help me to trust in Your mercy and Your love. Help me to have faith in Your divine plan. Let me see the bigger picture – that this is a step in my journey toward Heaven.
Renew my sense of belonging to the universal Church. Deepen my faith and my love for You.
Be my strength and my courage in our time of transition.
Thoughts from my blogging friends:
I want to know your Mass Takeaway too! Comment with your thoughts on the readings, your pastor’s homily, or anything that struck you during your time at Mass.