Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario
Homilies from Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: Second Sunday of Easter

April 7, 2024

The readings for this Sunday show us our need for God's Divine Mercy, which is offered to us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of our sins and through all Sacraments instituted to sanctify us. But first and foremost, God has revealed His Mercy by sending His only begotten Son to become our Savior and Lord by His suffering, death, and Resurrection.

The first reading of this Sunday from Acts of the Apostles describes the early Christian community's main characteristic: "a community of one heart and one soul." This reading summarizes how this community lived and testified to the Risen Lord. This community teaches us that unity is one of the best ways to experience God's Divine Mercy. Unity is so essential among all Catholics and all Christians of different denominations. Christ prayed for it: "So that they may all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you" (John 17:21). Of course, He knows there are many challenges in living this way. He knows that a community has different personalities and ways to see life. However, He wants this unity among us for the success of our relationship with others.

Today's Gospel reminds us of how Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Risen Lord gave His Apostles the power to forgive sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (Jn 20:19-23). Presenting Thomas' famous profession of faith, "My Lord and my God," after he doubted the Resurrection of Jesus, the Gospel illustrates how Jesus showed His Mercy to the Apostles and emphasizes the importance of faith for everyone.

Brothers and sisters, this Sunday of Divine Mercy, let us ask God for a strong faith that will lead us to surrender our lives to God entirely and serve those we encounter daily with Mercy. Solid faith enables us to see the Risen Lord in everyone and gives us the willingness to give others a loving service.

Also, this Sunday, the Lord invites us to accept His invitation to celebrate and practice His Divine Mercy in our Christian lives. The best way to do this is by practicing The Works of Mercy. The works of Mercy are divided into two groups: Material and Spiritual Work of Mercy. The material works of mercy concern people's material and physical needs. These works of Mercy are feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, ransoming the captive, and burying the dead. The spiritual works of Mercy involve people's spiritual needs. These Works of Mercy are instructing the ignorant, advising the doubtful, correcting sinners, being patient with those in error or who do wrong, forgiving offenses, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead.

As we participate in this Mass, we are reminded that God has extended His love and compassion to us by allowing His Son to pay the price of our sins on the cross. Christ accomplished this through His paschal mystery that we celebrated last week. Finally, as we spread the good news of Christ's Resurrection these days, we must thank God again because His Mercy and generosity endure forever.

Peace be with you.