The Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. And this is one of the newer feast days which were instituted in modern times. You can find out more about this devotion here, starting with learning the pray the chaplet.
Today, the homilist reminds us that mercy is needed in our societies as there is now a trend of punishing and shaming offenders especially on social media and destroying people’s reputation completely.
This gives little chance of any offender receiving forgiveness and healing. Sure, we believe in justice and the victims of crimes and abuse need justice, but both victim and offenders need healing. What we lack in the world today is empathy and mercy.
If about sexual immorality, what drove the abuser to that stage. If its about suicide, what drove the person to despair and can we empathise with depression.
Our fallen world needs mercy.
We are all wounded in some way and the consequences of our sins carry on.
In today’s gospel, John recounts how Jesus appears to His disciples after his death in a closed room and says “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
These two lines also command us, as believers, to go out into the world and deliver His Divine Mercy by our lives and actions.
We are called to spread the good news and to encourage our peers to repentance. The institution of the sacrament of reconciliation are also bounded by these words.
Repent, and receive His mercy.