OMELIE / Omelie EN

19 apr 2020
19/04/2020 – 2nd Sunday of Easter - A

19/04/2020 – 2nd Sunday of Easter - A

Of Divine Mercy

Reading 1 ACTS 2,42-47 * Psalm 117 * Reading 2 1PT 1,3-9 * Gospel JN 20,19-31


In these strange and special days, in which we are staying at home, it is easy to find a way to get on each other's nerves, to complain about the limitations, which are making us suffer, forgetting that also the other members of the family and society are suffering, maybe more than us. Our patience and our mutual forgiveness may be a prayer in order to obtain salvation for those who are dying and fighting with the sickness, and fortitude and holiness for the many who are tirelessly working and are at risk of being infected. Let us offer too the sacrifice of not being able to take part in the celebrations of the joy for Easter, in order to obtain from the Father and the risen Jesus the Holy Spirit for all our brethren and for ourselves.


Today is the second Sunday of Easter, the Octave, that in the old times was called “In albis”, because those who had been baptized during Easter Vigil were coming back still in their white garments! In recent years they call it “of divine mercy”, in order to remind that today Jesus gives the Apostles the gift and the task of forgiving the sins!

The gospel is still the one from Easter: Jesus meets his own the evening of that first day of the week. He greets them with the gift of peace, He shows them hands and feet, obviously with the wounds of the nails, gives them the task to continue His mission in the world, He breathes on them the Holy Spirit. At this point He charges them with the task to forgive sins.

The Jews had accused Him of blasphemy, when He had said to the paralytic “your sins are forgiven”. Now he gives this task truly divine to the frightened disciples. They have experienced being forgiven the moment in which they have heard Him repeating “Peace be with you!”, but having also the duty to reassure men about God’s forgiveness is really a surprise that confuses them and scares them. If they tell someone God forgives them, will not this be a blasphemy?

I can imagine their confusion, because I have experienced it. It is necessary a huge act of faith to believe that my word can lift a man up from his sins, and this in front of the omnipotent God! An act of faith the sinner lives when, in obedience to Jesus, confesses his sin and asks for forgiveness, but also an act of even stronger faith lives the priest who, in order to obey Jesus, says the words of the absolution!

Jesus has being waiting for this moment in order to give the apostles this ability, he has being waiting to be able to give them the Holy Spirit, otherwise they would have not received a gift and an assignment so great, beyond the usual understanding. We are used to receive from the priest's mouth God’s forgiveness, we got used to something we should not grow accustomed to. If only we were able to at least thank Jesus and the Father! Will we be able to say with David: “I will teach transgressors your ways”, that is to say, thanks to the forgiveness I receive, I will make you known to others, will teach your Word and your wisdom, I will become a preacher, I will not close in myself to say a prayer and to be able to say that I have done the penance and everything is over, everything back as before.

The passage from the gospel continues by showing us the second encounter with the Risen Jesus, happened eight days later. And is a new act of mercy He offers to His own, talking to Thomas. The Risen gives up in front of the requests of his suspicious incredulity. The disciple could see the joy of his ten friends, but he was not letting it influence him; he was requesting to put his finger where nobody would have dared to put it! This request was like showing the certainty that what was reported to him could not possibly be true. So, Jesus is merciful with him, He calls him, and He amazed him giving him the gift of faith, the faith that today makes us blessed, because we believe without having seen: we believe that Jesus is the Lord, we joyfully believe, we believe like children and we rejoice.

Our faith is truly a great gift, so much so it transforms the life, because it makes us open to communion, it makes us desiring to live the deepest brotherhood with all those who share the same faith in the Lord Jesus. Our sense of community is shown by the desire to listen together to the apostles' words, by living together moments of communion, by celebrating the mysteries of the Lord and by opening our lips in order to say the same prayer. This desire of ours is told to us by Luke in the Acts of the apostles, which we listen to as first reading. To be forgiven by Jesus makes us able to truly live in a new way.