Fr. Roy Cimagala
With the celebration of the Se-cond Sunday as well as the Octave of Easter that happens also to be the Divine Mer-cy Sunday, we are re-minded of our duty to know how to dispense Christ’s mercy to all. It’s truly an over-whelming task since it requires nothing less that our vital union with Christ. It requires our assuming his mind and heart that is full of mercy.
What may console us is the fact that as this Sunday’s gospel reassures us (cfr. Jn 20,19-31), it is Christ who will take the initiative, the first move, to come and appear to us. Ours simply is to welcome him and to learn as much as we can from him.
That may create some problem because in spite of everything that Christ has already done and given to us, we can still be like the doubting Thomas who needed a direct vision of Christ’s wounds in his hands and side. Christ had to reprimand him: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
We somehow have to understand that the words addressed by Christ directly to the apostles are also meant for all of us in ways that depend on our state in life and personal circumstances: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And this sending can only mean, in the end, imparting Christ mercy to all, since that would be the ultimate sign of our redemption.
We need to know what is involved in imparting this divine mercy. Yes, for this purpose we have to study well the doctrine of our faith and morals, now authoritatively taught by the Church magisterium. We need to be generous with our time and effort so that that divine mercy can be readily given to everyone.
This way we can hope to be father, a friend, a judge and a doctor to the others insofar as their spiritual and moral lives are concerned.
More than that, we really should pray so that we can see more directly and reflect in our attitudes, our thoughts, words and deeds the very passion, death and resurrection of Christ which in the end is the very sub-stance of di-vine mercy.
The ideal si-tuation is that we be filled with holy desires to ask for forgiveness, to atone and make reparation for our sins and the sins of others. It’s a mindset that we have to deliberately cultivate, always getting inspiration from the example of Christ himself.
I wonder if our idea of what Christian life ought to be includes this very important factor. Until we have these desires to dispense divine mercy to others can we sincerely say that we are truly Christian, another Christ if not Christ himself, as we ought to be.
In our daily exami-nation of conscience, let us try to see if we have been doing something concrete in this regard. Are we willing to bear the sins of others, in an effort to reflect Christ’s attitude toward all of us who are all sinners? Fr. Roy Cimagala is Chaplain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enter-prise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City, Email: roy firstname.lastname@example.org.