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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
200Level, Nigeria.
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Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Today, we are reaping the dividends of Easter. One of the reasons our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died was for the remission of sin. At the last Supper He said, “Take this, all of you and drink from it, 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28). Mercy, or if you like, the forgiveness of sin, is indeed the essence of Easter! That is why first Sunday after Easter is set aside as Divine Mercy Sunday. Today happens to be the first Sunday after Easter. So, welcome to Divine Mercy Sunday!!!
Today, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. Eight days after His resurrection, Christ Jesus appeared to His apostles and said to them, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21-23). With this statement, we have been empowered to forgive. We are the channel of God’s mercy. Through us, (especially ordained ministers) people will experience the Mercy of God. According to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, any priest that cannot forgive cannot exercise the Sacrament of penance.

Forgiveness is the most powerful force on earth. It was the only weapon our Lord Jesus Christ used to bring the era of hostility to an end. It was this same weapon He used to liberate His worst enemies, His executioners. At the peak of His suffering, rather than curse His executioners, He prayed for them, saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus forgave and prayed for His executioners. He did not ask God to consume them with Holy Ghost fire, He pleaded for mercy upon them.

This is the most unusual thing that has ever happened in the history of humanity. Our world is full of hatred, cruelty and hostility. It is a world where people take pleasure in vengeance and violence. Most people even believe that the more wicked and hardened they are, the more powerful and more human they are. It is a world where mercy is seen as an act of weakness. That is why most nations are building walls to express their might against others. Political leaders keep using hate speech to attack one another. It is a world where people are finding it very difficult to let go.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was the first to forgive His executioners. By forgiving His enemies, Jesus proved to the world that He was not just an ordinary man. He was a Leader with a difference! It takes a divine Being to do what Jesus did. Hence, to sin is human but to forgive is divine.

Forgiveness is not just a divine attribute, but is also the most powerful force on earth. It is the only force that can pull down the wall of hostility. Forgiveness is not the expression of cowardice as many wrongly think. It is rather the attribute of the strong. “The weak, according to Mahatma Gandhi, can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” The weak express their weakness through wickedness, while the strong express their might through forgiveness.

Child of God, as you celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, may God grant you mercy and divine reconciliation. May He restore peace in your family and in your nation and may God grant your deepest heart desire in Jesus name – Amen! HAPPY DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY!!!

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