The Cathedral Connection 23 April 2017

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The formula for absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation begins with the words, God, the Father of mercy…. Such a powerful identification of God with mercy, points to the confidence that Jesus asks of everyone in their approach to the Giver of life and the Judge of all.

This, the second Sunday of Easter, is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. The gospel reading tells of the reunion of Jesus with his disciples, following their desertion and denial of him when he most needed a friend. His greeting of peace cuts through their shame and anxiety and unites them with Jesus as never before. Mercy releases their burden of guilt and they experience resurrection.

At the end of last year’s Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote with great sensitivity of the continual flow of mercy from God who loves the world so much… His words help reflection on this special “mercy day”:

The love of God is capable of looking into the heart of each person and seeing the deepest desire hidden there.
Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life.
Love is the first act by which God makes himself known to us and comes to meet us. (God’s) love always precedes us, accompanies us and remains with us, despite our sin.
How sad it is when hearts are closed and unable to forgive!  Resentment, anger and revenge gain the upper hand, making our lives miserable and blocking a joyful commitment to mercy.
It is the time of mercy because those who are weak and vulnerable, distant and alone, ought to feel the presence of brothers and sisters who can help them in their need.

Fr James

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