By Lara Pickford-Gordon
“Mercy Father, mercy, mercy!” This was the appeal for Divine Mercy Sunday as Archbishop Jason Gordon urged Catholics to access the mercy of God for the “stupidities” they have done.
Speaking at the Gran Couva/Tabaquite parish Divine Mercy Sunday event April 16 at the Divine Mercy Shrine, La Vega Estate, Gran Couva, he said many people were afraid to approach God for mercy because of their “stupidities” and uncertainty as to how God would receive them.
Looking at the disciples of Jesus hiding in the Upper Room after the crucifixion, Archbishop Gordon said they would have felt fear, shame, disgrace, and disappointment, but Jesus comes into the room extending peace and showing mercy.
“There is no way…in our text (Jn 20:19–31) where Jesus accuses or shames or calls out or in any way spotlights any of them. What He says is ‘Peace be with you’”, Archbishop Gordon said.
The ‘Shalom’ from Jesus is restoring relationships that existed in Genesis, the Garden of Eden, “where the garden produced everything for the human to live and human family lived with harmony, with themselves, God and with creation….”
Mercy is not just about the things done. It is the faithful beginning to understand the heart of God and responding not out of obligation but gratitude for God’s mercy and being called His people.
Archbishop Gordon stated that individually and collectively, Catholics have not been living as God wanted, “…if we were living as God wants us to be or Church God wants us to be, the country couldn’t be the state the country is in right now because the holiness of a few people can transform a nation”.
A few people connected to God and the heart of God can transform a whole people. He said this is “what we pray for today.”
Archbishop Gordon said the Church was not meant to be above reproach. Through the Church, weak and fragile people know mercy and respond with gratitude. “And from gratitude we would learn compassion and from compassion we would learn how to look and be merciful as He is merciful.” While the faithful have not put their fingers into the wounds of Christ as Thomas did, Matthew 26 points to the wounds.
Touching the wound of Christ today happens in the encounter with the poor or reaching out to the “most wounded” family members. Archbishop Gordon said, “If you dare to touch that wound with a healing gaze as Veronica did, then you too would encounter the risen Christ in your midst.”
In the Resurrected Christ, the Church was constituted not just as a sign of mercy but also a vehicle of mercy. “This means wherever the Church is, mercy should be experienced” he said.