Readings for Today
There are few things that bring as much joy as when we think about the perfect place. It might be a vacation spot that is a particular favorite of ours. It may be a camp where we can get away from it all. It might even be an imaginary world where we can envision having special powers. Imagining other places may be the reason we see movies, tv shows or read books.We might play games for the same reason.
As we listen to today’s first reading we can make the mistake of thinking that the world described in the Acts of the Apostles is simply an imaginary place that does not, or can not, really exist. In a world where every element of life seems to divide people, even quite sharply, it can seem downright impossible that any group of people can be of one heart and one mind. Even when the group professes belief in Jesus, it can obviously seem to be impossible in this group as well.
That being said, we cannot lose hope. The call to be of one mind and heart is a call to open our hearts ever more fully to the Spirit. When our hearts are open to the Spirit as believers, the beauty of being of one heart and one mind becomes real. And when we live in that unity, it becomes possible for us to live the ideal presented, one where all have their needs met, and living in harmony and generosity is the norm.
Today’s readings are meant to remind us of generosity. There is the generosity of spirit that compels us to care for one another. But perhaps on this Divine Mercy Sunday, there is the generosity we witness in the forgiveness of Jesus, first to the apostles but ultimately also to you and me. This mercy seemed so unreal, that neither Thomas nor the other apostles could believe without confirming this Jesus was the real Jesus, and that the mercy of God was indeed so powerful it could overcome the sinful abandonment of Jesus done by the apostles.
There can be two mistakes, probably more, but two I can think of when I consider the mercy of God. The first mistake is to believe that somehow our sins are too big to be forgiven by God. We can limit the mercy of God, by failing to realize that Jesus came to die for everyone’s sinfulness. There is never the sin that is too big, too evil, that cannot be overcome by the mercy of God because of the salvific victory won by Jesus.