07 April, 2024

Lectionary Readings: Acts 4:32-35; Ps118:2-4. 13-15. 22-24; 1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31Theme: The divine compassion of God


The Gospel of today invites us to meditate on the unfathomable Divine Mercy, or should we say Divine compassion for it is through the saving act of God that we have come to see his goodness. The Ps. 118:2-4 that is translated as: “his mercy endures forever” is not true to the Hebrew word which is “chasdu” with the root word “CheSeD” and not “rachama” or “rechem” which is translated as “goodness and or kindness” and not mercy, compassion, gentle etc.  

On the other hand, Jn.20:19, 21, and 26 “Peace be with you”, has its origin in Is. 7:2 “Do not fear” according to Yves, which is translated as ” fear is for the unbelievers and peace is for those who have faith” while in Is 7:4 we can find the consoling word of the Lord saying: ” Take care you remain calm and do not fear; do not let your courage fail before” (your enemy). If it is not kindness from the Lord who assures the existence of all things, then what it is? In the Gospel, the first noticeable phrase that comes from the mouth of our Lord is ensuring that our confidence is not in vain but in ‘him who causes to be’; and for us to feel more secure He the Lord, repeated it three times so that we may notice that His presence among us is not a mere illusion; that his unconditional love for us which breaks through the space that divides heaven and earth is real and not a mere imagination and dream; that his unfathomable goodness, despite  our repeated failure, is there and not wavering even an inch.

Notice that Jn. 20: 25 is a response of a community and not only of Thomas for the initial phrase is not of Thomas but of the community of apostles gathered declaring that: “We have seen the Lord.” and then followed by the words of Thomas “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” This action of the community is a response to the announcement of Mary Magdalene who in v.18 “Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” to her, what was announced, is affirmed immediately by the community. That is, the Lord is risen, death is conquered, and there is no more reason and room for fear.  This event is affirmed by v.20 as John wrote: “The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord ” this phrase may allude to “the LORD expelled death and justice restored” proposed by Yves and fulfillment of Is. 40:1 “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” Yves continued.

The essence of community is an indispensable element of being a Human being and being a Christian: it helps us to keep away from sin, for sin as we knew it, was and is initiated by the self, the privation of good is its origin in the self, that is why, when the lord saw Adam (human) “alone he said it is not good for him”. Then the LORD created a companion of the same substance and the same species. While alone, said the ancient wisdom, one can do nothing. This may suggest that we must look at and/or examine what purpose we have, and what role we have now, in the community where we are currently living. The community completes us; makes us who we are; and helps us to form our thoughts, actions, and dreams. And like the Trinity who is always in unitedness let us be immolators of the same unity through the divine mercy and compassion of God.

For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Am I still a Christian who lives my life among my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ on the pattern of our Triune God?

Bibliography: McKenzie, J.L. Dictionary of the Bible (New York: 1965), 2. Hothzat Koren Yerushalayim 3. Koren Pub. Jerusalem ltd @1997 (Tehillim: qup, yod, het), 4. Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament, F. Bown et al, Clarendon Press: Oxford, 5. Evangile selon Jean, Edition Facultés Jesuit de Paris, Yves Simoens @2016This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Jefferson Philip Jacob Reyes
, France, Bat Kol Alumnus: 2019


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