2nd Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, Year C
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Liturgical Colour: White.
Mass Readings from ETWN.
1st Reading: Acts 5:12-16,
Responsorial: Psalm 118:2-4,22-27,
2nd Reading: Apocalypse 1:9-13,17-19 &
Gospel: John 20:19-31, Gospel Video.
John Chapter 20 (video)
Gospel of John Chapter by Chapter (videos)
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Please spread the News to help them. Many Thanks.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
Dear Pope Saint John Paul II, See here. Please help us. Thanks.
2. We are opening this Synodal Assembly on the Second Sunday of Easter. The liturgy today recalls what happened in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, the Sunday after the Resurrection when Christ again appeared to the Apostles, this time in the presence of Thomas. He had, in fact, already appeared eight days earlier, but Thomas was absent, and when the others told him: "We have seen the Lord!", he refused to believe them and declared: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25).
Doubting Thomas! It is precisely because of him that Christ appears eight days later in the Upper Room, entering even though the doors were locked. He said to those who were there: "Peace be with you". Then he said to Thomas: "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing" (John 20:27). Thomas then spoke the words which express the whole faith of the apostolic Church: "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). And Christ said: "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (John 20:29).
3. "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe". The Apostles were eyewitnesses of Christ's life, passion, death and resurrection. After them, others who were unable to see all this with their own eyes would have to accept the truth transmitted by the first witnesses in order to become witnesses themselves. The Church's faith is transmitted and remains living through this line of witnesses, which extends from generation to generation. Thus from the Upper Room in Jerusalem the Church has spread through every country and every continent.
According to a very ancient tradition, the Gospel was brought to India by St Thomas, the Apostle to whom the Lord said: "You believe because you can see me". Thomas, no longer unbelieving but convinced of his Lord's resurrection, passes on to many others the certainty expressed in his confession of faith: "My Lord and my God!". His faith is still alive in India and in Asia.
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate who have come here, the Church you represent, built on the foundations of the Apostles, is assembled in Rome today on the threshold of the third millennium for the work of the Synod, in order to pass on to future generations the witness borne to Christ by the Apostles, the witness borne by Thomas almost 20 centuries ago.
4. "Jesus Christ the Saviour and his Mission of Love and Service in Asia: '. . . that they may have life, and have it abundantly' (John 10:10)". This is the theme of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which we are beginning today with this solemn liturgical celebration. The theme invites us to direct our gaze to Christ, from whose pierced Heart flows the inexhaustible source of eternal life which vivifies our human existence.
This Synodal Assembly is a providential time of grace for the whole Christian people, and especially for the faithful in Asia, who are called to a fresh missionary outreach. In order that this favourable "time" may be truly fruitful, the figure of Jesus and his saving mission need to be presented once more in their full light. On everyone's lips there must resound with renewed awareness the profession of faith of the Apostle Thomas: "My Lord and my God!"
In effect, it is only by keeping her gaze fixed on Christ that the Church can adequately respond to the hopes and challenges of the Asian Continent, as to those of the rest of the world. The launch of the new evangelization for the Third Millennium demands an ever deeper knowledge of Jesus and unfailing fidelity to his Gospel.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 19 April 1998)
1. In today’s Gospel passage we read that Jesus appeared to the Apostles in the Upper Room and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:22-23). With these words, the risen Christ calls the Apostles to be messengers and ministers of his merciful love and from that day, from generation to generation, this proclamation of hope has resounded in the heart of the Church for every believer. Blessed are those who open their hearts to divine mercy! The Lord’s merciful love precedes and accompanies every act of evangelization and enriches it with extraordinary fruits of conversion and spiritual renewal.
2. In every corner of the world the way of the Christian people is marked by the constant action of divine mercy. This happened in the early communities and likewise in the Church’s later developments on the various continents. Today our attention is focused in particular on the signs of mercy which God worked and continues to work in Asia. In fact this morning’s solemn Eucharistic celebration in St Peter’s Basilica opened the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops.
The theme chosen for this Synod Assembly is “Jesus Christ the Saviour and his Mission of Love and Service in Asia: ‘that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10)”. This is a most appropriate theme for Asia, especially in view of its many religions and cultures, its variety of economic and political situations. It is an enormous land, open to the proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ and to the witness of Christian solidarity towards peoples who are often sorely tried. At this time I am thinking particularly of the peoples of North Korea, exhausted by hunger and hardship: as I urge the Church’s charitable organizations to take responsibility for this difficult situation, I hope that the international community will also provide the necessary assistance.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 19 April 1998)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-224. 8-)
1. As we approach the conclusion of the solemn Eucharistic celebration, let us turn our gaze to Mary Most Holy, whom we call upon today with the sweetest name of "Mater misericordiae". Mary is "Mother of mercy", because she is the Mother of Jesus in whom God revealed to the world his "heart" overflowing with love.
God's compassion for man is communicated to the world precisely through the Virgin Mary's motherhood. Mary's motherhood, which began in Nazareth through the work of the Holy Spirit, was fulfilled in the Easter mystery, when she was closely associated with the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the divine Son. At the foot of the Cross Our Lady became mother of the disciples of Christ, mother of the Church and of all humanity. "Mater misericordiae".
2. I greet the pilgrims who have come here from Poland, and all who have a special devotion to God's mercy and have taken part in this Holy Mass by radio and television. In a special way I have joined in spirit the Cardinal of Kraków and the vast number of Bishops, religious and faithful who have gathered today at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in £agiewniki. During this celebration together with you I thanked God who almost a year ago granted me the grace to canonize Sr Faustina Kowalska, the chosen apostle of the merciful Christ, and to proclaim the Second Sunday of Easter as the feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church.
Filled with joy we present ourselves before the Risen One today and say with faith: "Jesus, I trust in you!". May this confession full of love strengthen everyone on the path of daily life and encourage them to undertake works of mercy for their brothers and sisters. May this be a message of hope for the entire new millennium.
3. Now, with the recitation of the antiphon "Regina Caeli", we ask Mary to enable us to experience the deep joy of the Resurrection and to collaborate with dedication in the universal plan of divine mercy.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 22 April 2001)
1. On Good Friday, as he hung on the Cross, Jesus bequeathed to us his testament of forgiveness: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23: 34). Jeered and tormented, he implored mercy for his torturers. In this way his wide-open arms and pierced side became the universal sacrament of the fatherly tenderness of God, who offers forgiveness and reconciliation to all.
When he appeared to his disciples on the day of the Resurrection, the Lord greeted them with these words: "Peace be with you", and showed them his hands and his side with the marks of the passion. Eight days later, as we read in today's Gospel, Jesus once again came and stood among them in the Upper Room, and once again said to them: "Peace be with you" (cf. John 20: 19-26).
2. Peace is the gift par excellence of the crucified and Risen Christ, the result of the victory of his love over sin and death. In offering himself as an immaculate victim of expiation on the altar of the Cross, he poured out on humanity the beneficial flow of Divine Mercy.
Jesus, therefore, is our peace, because he is the perfect manifestation of Divine Mercy. In the human heart, which is an abyss always exposed to the temptation of evil, he infuses God's merciful love.
3. Today, the Second Sunday of Easter, we are celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. The Lord is also sending us out to bring to everyone his peace, which is founded on pardon and the forgiveness of sins. This is an extraordinary gift, which he desired to link with the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. How deeply humanity needs to experience the effectiveness of God's mercy in these times marked by growing uncertainty and violent conflicts!
May Mary, Mother of Christ our Peace, who received his testament of love on Calvary, help us to be witnesses and apostles of his infinite mercy.
I now address a special greeting to the pilgrims from various nations who have gathered here on the occasion of Divine Mercy Sunday. Dear friends, I ask you to be witnesses of God's merciful love, after the example of St Faustina Kowalska.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 18 April 2004)
Dear Pope Benedict XVI, See here. Please pray for us. Thanks.
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-225. 8-)
This Sunday, as I said, concludes the week or, more properly, the "Octave" of Easter, which the liturgy considers as a single day: "the day which the Lord has made" (Psalm 117: 24). It is not a chronological but a spiritual time, which God opened in the sequence of days when he raised Christ from the dead.
The Creator Spirit, infusing new and eternal life in the buried body of Jesus of Nazareth, carried to completion the work of creation, giving origin to a "firstfruits": the firstfruits of a new humanity, which at the same time is a firstfruits of a new world and a new era.
This world renewal can be summed up in a single phrase, the same one that the Risen Jesus spoke to his disciples as a greeting and even more, as an announcement of his victory: "Peace be with you!" (Luke 24: 36; John 20: 19, 21, 26).
Peace is the gift that Christ left his friends (cf. John 14: 27) as a blessing destined for all men and women and all peoples. It is not a peace according to a "worldly" mentality, as an equilibrium of forces, but a new reality, fruit of God's Love, of his Mercy. It is the peace that Jesus Christ earned by the price of his Blood and communicates to those who trust in him.
"Jesus, I trust in you": these words summarize the faith of the Christian, which is faith in the omnipotence of God's merciful Love.
Dear brothers and sisters, as I renew my gratitude for your spiritual closeness on the occasion of my birthday and the anniversary of my election as Successor of Peter, I entrust all of you to Mary, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy.
With her help, let us become renewed in the Spirit in order to cooperate in the work of peace which God is accomplishing in the world and which is not just talk, but which is actualized in the countless gestures of charity by all his sons and daughters.
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 15 April 2007)
This Sunday concludes the Octave of Easter. It is a unique day "made by the Lord", distinguished by the outstanding event of the Resurrection and the joy of the disciples at seeing Jesus. Since antiquity this Sunday has been called in albis from the Latin name, alba, which was given to the white vestments the neophytes put on for their Baptism on Easter night and took off eight days later, that is, today. Venerable John Paul II entitled this same Sunday "Divine Mercy Sunday" on the occasion of the canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska on 30 April 2000.
The Gospel passage from St John (20: 19-31) is full of mercy and divine goodness. Is recounts that after the Resurrection Jesus visited his disciples, passing through the closed doors of the Upper Room. St Augustine explains that "the shutting of doors presented no obstacle to the matter of that body, wherein the Godhead resided. He indeed could enter without their being opened, by whose birth the virginity of his mother remained inviolate" (In ev. Jo. 121, 4: CCL 36/7, 667); and St Gregory the Great added that after his Resurrection the Redeemer appeared with a Body by its nature incorruptible and tangible, but in a state of glory (cf. Hom. in Evang. 21, 1: CCL 141, 219). Jesus showed the signs of his Passion even to the point of allowing Doubting Thomas to touch him; but how can a disciple possibly doubt? Actually God's indulgence enables us to profit even from Thomas' disbelief, as well as from the believing disciples. Indeed, in touching the Lord's wounds, the hesitant disciple not only heals his own diffidence but also ours.
The visit of the Risen One is not limited to the space of the Upper Room but goes beyond it, to the point that all can receive the gift of peace and life with the "creative Breath". In fact Jesus said twice to his disciples, ""Peace be with you". And he added, "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you". Having said this he breathed on them, saying "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained". This is the mission of the Church, eternally assisted by the Paraclete: to bear the Good News, the joyful reality of God's merciful love, in order, as St John says, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (20: 31).
In the light of these words I encourage all, Pastors in particular, to follow the example of the holy Curé d'Ars, who "in his time... was able to transform the hearts and the lives of so many people because he enabled them to experience the Lord's merciful love. Our own time urgently needs a similar proclamation and witness to the truth of Love" (Letter inaugurating the Year for Priests, 16 June 2009). In this way we shall make increasingly familiar and close the One whom our eyes have not seen but of whose infinite Mercy we are absolutely certain. Let us ask the Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, to sustain the Church's mission and invoke her exulting with joy: Regina Caeli....
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 11 April 2010)
Dear Pope Francis, See here. Please pray for us. Thanks.
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-226. 8-)
On this Sunday which brings the Octave of Easter to a close I renew to everyone my good wishes for Easter in the very words of the Risen Jesus: “Peace be with you” (John 20:19, 21, 26). This is not a greeting nor even a simple good wish: it is a gift, indeed, the precious gift that Christ offered his disciples after he had passed through death and hell.
He gives peace, as he had promised: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27). This peace is the fruit of the victory of God’s love over evil, it is the fruit of forgiveness. And it really is like this: true peace, that profound peace, comes from experiencing God’s mercy. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, as John Paul II — who closed his eyes to the world on the eve of this very day — wanted it to be.
John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus appeared twice to the Apostles enclosed in the Upper Room: the first time on the evening of the Resurrection itself and on that occasion Thomas, who said unless I see and touch I will not believe, was absent. The second time, eight days later, Thomas was there as well. And Jesus said, speaking directly to him, I invite you to look at my wounds, to touch them; then Thomas exclaimed: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). So Jesus said: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (v. 29); and who were those who believed without seeing? Other disciples, other men and women of Jerusalem, who, on the testimony of the Apostles and the women, believed, even though they had not met the Risen Jesus. This is a very important word about faith, we can call it the beatitude of faith. Blessed are those who have not seen but have believed: this is the beatitude of faith! In every epoch and in every place blessed are those who, on the strength of the word of God proclaimed in the Church and witnessed by Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the love of God incarnate, Mercy incarnate. And this applies for each one of us!
As well as his peace Jesus gave the Apostles the Holy Spirit so that they could spread the forgiveness of sins in the world, that forgiveness which only God can give and which came at the price of the Blood of the Son (cf. John 20:21-23). The Church is sent by the Risen Christ to pass on to men and women the forgiveness of sins and thereby make the Kingdom of love grow, to sow peace in hearts so that they may also be strengthened in relationships, in every society, in institutions.
And the Spirit of the Risen Christ drove out fear from the Apostles’ hearts and impelled them to leave the Upper Rome in order to spread the Gospel. Let us too have greater courage in witnessing to our faith in the Risen Christ! We must not be afraid of being Christian and living as Christians! We must have this courage to go and proclaim the Risen Christ, for he is our peace, he made peace with his love, with his forgiveness, with his Blood and with his mercy.
Dear friends, this afternoon I shall celebrate the Eucharist in the Basilica of St John Lateran, which is the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. Together let us pray the Virgin Mary that she help us, Bishop and People, to walk in faith and charity, ever trusting in the Lord’s mercy: he always awaits us, loves us, has pardoned us with his Blood and pardons us every time we go to him to ask his forgiveness. Let us trust in his mercy!
Pope Francis I (Regina Caeli, 7 April 2013)
“Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book” (John 20:30). The Gospel is the book of God’s mercy, to be read and reread, because everything that Jesus said and did is an expression of the Father’s mercy. Not everything, however, was written down; the Gospel of mercy remains an open book, in which the signs of Christ’s disciples – concrete acts of love and the best witness to mercy – continue to be written. We are all called to become living writers of the Gospel, heralds of the Good News to all men and women of today. We do this by practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which are the hallmarks of the Christian life. By means of these simple yet powerful gestures, even when unseen, we can accompany the needy, bringing God’s tenderness and consolation. Thus continues the great work of Jesus on Easter day, when he poured into the hearts of his fearful disciples the Father’s mercy, bringing them the Holy Spirit who forgives sins and bestows joy.
At the same time, the story we have just heard presents an evident contrast: there is the fear of the disciples, who gathered behind closed doors; and then there is the mission of Jesus, who sends them into the world to proclaim the message of forgiveness. This contrast may also be present in us, experienced as an interior struggle between a closed heart and the call of love to open doors closed by sin. It is a call that frees us to go out of ourselves. Christ, who for love entered through doors barred by sin, death and the powers of hell, wants to enter into each one of us to break open the locked doors of our hearts. Jesus, who by his resurrection has overcome the fear and dread which imprison us, wishes to throw open our closed doors and send us out. The path that the Risen Master shows us is a one way street, it goes in only one direction: this means that we must move beyond ourselves to witness to the healing power of love that has conquered us. We see before us a humanity that is often wounded and fearful, a humanity that bears the scars of pain and uncertainty. Before the anguished cry for mercy and peace, we hear Jesus’ inspiring invitation: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (John 20:21).
In God’s mercy, all of our infirmities find healing. His mercy, in fact, does not keep a distance: it seeks to encounter all forms of poverty and to free this world of so many types of slavery. Mercy desires to reach the wounds of all, to heal them. Being apostles of mercy means touching and soothing the wounds that today afflict the bodies and souls of many of our brothers and sisters. Curing these wounds, we profess Jesus, we make him present and alive; we allow others, who touch his mercy with their own hands, to recognize him as “Lord and God” (John 20:28), as did the Apostle Thomas. This is the mission that he entrusts to us. So many people ask to be listened to and to be understood. The Gospel of mercy, to be proclaimed and written in our daily lives, seeks people with patient and open hearts, “good Samaritans” who understand compassion and silence before the mystery of each brother and sister. The Gospel of mercy requires generous and joyful servants, people who love freely without expecting anything in return.
“Peace be with you!” (John 20:21) is the greeting of Jesus to his disciples; this same peace awaits men and women of our own day. It is not a negotiated peace, it is not the absence of conflict: it is his peace, the peace that comes from the heart of the Risen Lord, the peace that has defeated sin, fear and death. It is a peace that does not divide but unites; it is a peace that does not abandon us but makes us feel listened to and loved; it is a peace that persists even in pain and enables hope to blossom. This peace, as on the day of Easter, is born ever anew by the forgiveness of God which calms our anxious hearts. To be bearers of his peace: this is the mission entrusted to the Church on Easter day. In Christ, we are born to be instruments of reconciliation, to bring the Father’s forgiveness to everyone, to reveal his loving face through concrete gestures of mercy.
In the responsorial Psalm we heard these words: “His love endures forever” (Psalm 117/118:2). Truly, God’s mercy is forever; it never ends, it never runs out, it never gives up when faced with closed doors, and it never tires. In this forever we find strength in moments of trial and weakness because we are sure that God does not abandon us. He remains with us forever. Let us give thanks for so great a love, which we find impossible to grasp; it is immense! Let us pray for the grace to never grow tired of drawing from the well of the Father’s mercy and bringing it to the world. Let us ask that we too may be merciful, to spread the power of the Gospel everywhere, and to write those pages of the Gospel which John the Apostle did not write.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 3 April 2016)
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Compiled on 21 April 2019 (Easter Sunday)
Last updated: 28 April 2019 (Divine Mercy Sunday)