We appreciate the collaboration of all who make this radio broadcast possible, today, Second Sunday of Easter, April 11th, also called Thomas Sunday and Sunday of Divine Mercy. Christ is risen, he is truly risen! We hear the gospel according to John chapter 20, verses 19 through 31.
The first greeting of the Risen Christ to his apostles is “Peace to You”. And that’s what he also says to us: “Peace.” Peace comes from knowing that God loves us, and if He loves us, why fear and fear? Peace comes from feeling that the mission that God has entrusted to me in the family, in the Church, in society, I can fulfill it despite many difficulties because God himself has given me gifts to fulfill what is in charge. And whenever God gives a gift he gives it as a task.
Peace is present in the midst of suffering, for before I suffered the son of God has been nailed to the cross and shows us the way forward. Peace comes from knowing that after suffering, failure, death, comes the resurrection. The last word is life, god has it that is eternal, Jesus Christ has it, victor of evil and death, the Holy Spirit has it, able to get us to eat in peace, to work in peace, to suffer in peace, to die in peace.
The good news of the resurrection fills us with peace at the death of those we love.
Pope Francis tells us:
“The Catechism explains that the Saints ‘contemplate God, praise Him, and continue to care for those who have remained on earth. (…) His intercession is his highest service to God’s plan. We can and should beg them to intercede for us and the whole world.’ In Christ there is a mysterious solidarity between those who have passed on to the afterlife and we pilgrims in this: our deceased loved ones continue to care for us from Heaven. They pray for us and we pray for them, and we pray with them.
“The first way to face a moment of anguish is to ask the brethren, the Saints above all, to pray for us. The name they gave us at Baptism is not a label or a decoration! It is usually the name of Our Lady, a saint or a saint, who want nothing more than to ‘give us a hand in life, to give us a hand to obtain from God the graces we need most. If in our lives the trials have not overcome the full, if we are still able to persevere, if we nevertheless move forward with confidence, perhaps all this, without our merits, we owe it to the intercession of so many saints, one in Heaven, other pilgrims like us on earth, who have protected us and accompanied us because we all know that here on earth there are holy people , holy men and women who live in holiness. They don’t know it, we don’t know it either, but there are saints, everyday saints, hidden saints or as I like to say: the ‘holy ones next door’, those who live with us in life, who work with us and lead a life of holiness.”
If we have peace, we can share it and be instruments of peace.
Today we can also call this Sunday, Happiness Sunday. Happy those who believe without having seen. Happy you were not when the creation of the world, but when you see nature you realize that it is the work of the Creator God. And we joined José Martí who said, “God does not need the one who defends him, he is defended by nature.”
Happy you, who have not seen the crucified with your eyes, and believe in him knowing that it is light for the meaning of your life. Happy you, who have not seen love because it is invisible to the eyes, but you have felt it and experienced it in your marriage, in your parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors. That love comes from the image of God, which is mercy and love. Happy you, that when you see a pregnant woman you know that within her, even if you do not see it, there is a blessed fruit, begat, loved by her parents, loved by her grandparents. Happy you, who have not seen Christ, but have discovered him in the poor, sick, imprisoned, in which he asks you for something and serves him. Happy your church that praises God, proclaims the Gospel, teaches love, and practices the fourteen works of mercy. Happy the Church who lives like this, as it tells us chapter 4 verses 32 to 35 of the Acts of the Apostles.
Christ is risen, he is truly risen! As St. Thomas we mean, “My Lord and my God.” My Lord and my God, you created me in your image and likeness. My Lord and my God with you everything, without you nothing. My Lord and my God, present in my sorrows and sufferings. My Lord and my God, you are by my side and help me to form a beautiful family, a beautiful Church, a beautiful people. My Lord and my God, present in the Tabernacle of the temples, to whom I can speak to you and comfort and encourage me. We want to place on the open side of Jesus’ heart and in the gaps in the hands of the crucified persons who care about us, make us suffer and cry, have done us evil, so that the blood of Christ may heal them, heal them and give them a new life. We want to place ourselves on the open side of Jesus’ heart and in the hollows of his hands, so that the Lord’s mercy may forgive our sins, cleanse us of our sins, and begin as every day a new life more full of faith and more full of love. My Lord and my God.
The Lord Jesus Christ suggested to Saint Faustina Kowalska the devotion of the Crown of Divine Mercy. We pray a dozen of that crown:
VOICE: “Eternal Father, I offer you the body, blood, soul, and divinity of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as a propitiation of our sins and those of the whole world.”
For your painful passion, have mercy on us and the whole world. (REPEATED)
Voice: “O eternal God, in whom mercy is infinite and the treasure of inexhaustible compassion, turn to us your kind gaze and increase your mercy in us so that in difficult times we do not despair or deter, but with great confidence we submit to your holy will which is love and mercy themselves”.
To Our Lady, with the prayer of this Easter season, we tell her to carry and protect all mothers, all their children, all families, all the sick and we do so by praying:
We bow our heads to receive the blessing. At the end of each invocation we pray, Amen.
“May Almighty God bless you on this solemn Sunday of Easter, and may your mercy keep you from all sin.”
“And whoever has redeemed them by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ enriches them with the reward of eternal life.”
“And to you who celebrate these Easter Sundays, may the Lord also grant you to rejoice with the joy of eternal Passover.”
“And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost descend upon you and remain forever”,
“You can go in peace. Hallelujah, hallelujah!”
Below we fully offer the allocution of the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García