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Scripture Reflection - April 7, 2024

Second Sunday of Easter

Sunday of Divine Mercy

Acts 4: 32-35        Ps. 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24        1 John 5: 1-6       John 20: 19-31

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

When the doors were locked where the disciples were, Jesus came and stood in their midst.

“Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.


A week later, when Thomas was with them, Jesus came and stood in their midst again, despite the locked doors. “Peace be with you.” Knowing Thomas’ doubts, and the criteria for belief he had declared to the other disciples, Jesus invited him to probe his wounds. There is no evidence that Thomas actually did so. “Seeing” Jesus seemed to have been enough to awe and assure him: “My Lord and my God!”

The locked doors behind which the disciples hide denote their fear, their paralysis, and their guilt. Jesus penetrates this dark, fraught prison offering the peace that comes through his wounds. The community that receives this peace, receives the Holy Spirit, and is raised up to the new and vibrant life that radiates resurrection hope: They become one in mind and heart.

As we look at our world scarred by sin and division, tortured by the effects of minds and hearts locked against each other, we long for peace. We long for the unity of mind and heart that might yield such peace. Yet our scriptures testify that the order of our longing needs to be reversed. We need to receive the peace of Christ, know deeply the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, before we can unlock our hearts and minds, before we can open ourselves to the experience of the other that alone leads to oneness, to unity of mind and heart. Such unity born of the Spirit who is truth lies deeper than politics. Such unity perceives and participates in the wounds of the world which are the wounds of Christ. Such unity finds expression in the mercy that is foundational to justice, the Divine Mercy that is God’s own life poured out in Christ, poured out through us. God’s mercy is everlasting.


Sr. Kathleen McManus, OP


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