Sunday of the Divine Mercy
April 8th 2018
Marriage of Sabatino and Angela
Gospel: John 20,19-31
Homily of the Pontiff Samuel
Peace be with you all! Here is the greeting that the Master, the Friend, the Brother Jesus, addresses to us, now as then (Jn 20:19). We make this greeting ours. And we wish this greeting to all Christians and to all those who, although not fully believing, are animated by goodwill and are seeking the Truth.
«Peace be with you! As the Father sent me, so am I sending you» (Jn 20:21). These words of the Lord to His friends, immediately after His resurrection, guide us today, during this new Easter, on this new journey we are about to start, being renewed by the Easter of the Lord.
Jesus returned to His friends to reinvigorate their body, their heart and their being, so that they could resurrect, as He did, so to receive His strength and no longer have trembling hearts and weak legs; so that they could take a stand and proclaim all what their Master had foretold them: that He would be risen. The resurrection. The new life, renewed in the spirit of that Man God. And so that they could go to testify to all the peoples the Good News (Mk 16:15).
From that moment on, the Friends of Jesus returned to shine. They understood everything. They became strong. They no longer feared, not even to be pointed out as those who followed that Man. But with holy pride they went and testified that in that Man there was Life. The strength of Jesus and their being true sons of God, grew in them even more. They stayed gathered around Mary, who did not abandon them (Acts 1:13-14). Staying alive close to Mary, they found peace: that peace they had lost in the previous days. That peace that Mary lavished on them, made them brothers again. They rediscovered the taste of being brothers. And in that indissoluble brotherhood, they went, bearing witness of Jesus, the one who is Life, new Life. They went to testify that Light that shines on the world, the one and only Light of Life, of resurrection, eternal resurrection (Jn 1:9).
«Welcome the Light», they said «to savour Heaven». «Come, taste right from now that Light that warms the heart and that gives you Freedom». They no longer feared, and from that day on, they faced everything and everyone; and they were witnesses of what had been proclaimed and was realised over time.
Through them, a live awareness, a true love, a deep bond grew in the hearts of God’s sons. And they went from shame to that holy pride, which is what we must experience today, we Christians of this holy Mother Church, understanding the Sign that Jesus has given us, the Life that Jesus has given us (1Jn 5:11-13), the joy of returning to put the true and holy Christianity and the live, true and universal Love at the centre.
Mary supported them with Her prayer, with a true and spousal Love, a motherly Love that gave to everyone Her delights and Her Goodness: a live, holy and pure Goodness. She accompanied the Friends of Jesus with Her live prayer, so that even Her motherly Heart, after having endured many humiliations and sufferings, could once again cry out to the world: «The Son of God has risen. So, all what had been announced has been fullfilled. Glory be to God the Father, because His words have been fulfilled».
Now as then, today, in this Land of Love, the only Beacon of Light to recognise God’s Love in this arid and lost humanity where many Christians have lost the right Way, the sons of God are celebrating. And today this feast is gladdened by the love that Sabatino and Angela want to promise each other forever in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Friend Jesus, in the name of the Master Jesus, in the name of the Brother Jesus. A God that is not far, but is a God close to us and walks together with His sons, and His Spirit is alive (Jn 6:63) and gives us that joy of returning to live Christendom as the only primary good.
Sabatino and Angela have walked together to follow Jesus. A long journey that brought them here with full and live awareness, in this Sanctuary dedicated to the Divine Mercy – today is the feast of the Divine Mercy – in this being Christian and Universal Church of the New Jerusalem, so to live the Love, that spousal Love that they want today, through Jesus, to promise each other. Hold each other in this Love, just as you did before, hand in hand. Remain united so to be able to walk together now and always in this Love, the Love that Jesus makes you live, and that will help you to continue this journey of holiness, by spreading and giving this Love to all those who are here today gathered around you, so that all of them may gain strength from this spousal love: a contagious love that doesn’t divide but unites. It is not true that families are divided in this Church. In this Church, families are united in the Love of Jesus, in the one and only Love that saves. There is no greater Love than that of Jesus. This is what this Church wants everyone to live and make others live.
Be each one of you the strength of the other, him to her and her to him, by remaining in that Holy Love that makes you one.
«I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you». (Jn 15:9‑14). « My command to you is to love one another». (Jn 15:17).
These words of Jesus are my wish for this day, so that united in this love, strengthened by this love, you may walk head‑on; this for you and all those who belong to you, in this live and nuptial love. Be live members of this Church. Protagonists of this love. And following the example of the Love of Jesus and Mary, give love: to your parents, to your dear ones, to your relatives and to all these brothers and sisters who are united in this one and only Spirit who makes us Church, Mystical Body of Christ (Rm 12:15).
This is the example that the sons of God want to incarnate. So to no longer be incredulous but believers, as we have heard before (Jn 20:27). Live and believe in the promises of the Lord, who here, in this Land of Love, has descended from Heaven to give hope back to all His sons, and to raise up a humanity that was on the brink of the abyss and that, without the intervention of the Father, would have sunk, overwhelmed by the sins and the infidelity of those who have become unfaithful, of those who have betrayed the Spirit of Jesus, that Spirit that Jesus had given them. And these infidelities are there for all to see. Every day we listen to the chronicles that speak of the unfaithfulness of those who should have remained faithful but that unfortunately have lost their loyalty. This is why the Father has wanted this Church. Otherwise, He would not have instituted this Church. Things would have gone on as before. The Father has wanted this Church so that Christendom could remain the centre of all: pure, in the pure love of those who want to live Her, in simplicity, in humility and in Truth.
This is the Divine Mercy that the Father has wanted to give to His sons. So, today, on this day of the Feast of the Divine Mercy, we are celebrating. In this Place, the Father has given His Divine Mercy to His sons. This is why it is written that this is the centre of the Divine Mercy. All those who sincerely ask the Father for forgiveness, Here they will find forgiveness. The Father does not condemn those who approach Here with a sincere heart, those who want to understand with a sincere heart, those who want to live with a sincere heart. This is why He invites everyone to come and see, before judging. Then, everyone is free to judge as they wish. Believe in the signs that Jesus has given in this Land. Many graces the Father has granted: the Father has given, is giving and will give many spiritual and bodily healings, because He manifests His live presence through these signs (Mt 7:16-20). But I tell you: this is a sign, the sign of God’s Love: these two young people who today, even in these times, despite the difficulties that exist today are believing in the value of marriage, are believing that it is worth making sacrifices to get to this day in the Grace of God. They do not take shortcuts and in spite of everything and everyone that say the opposite – that it is better to not get married, “It’s not worth it” – they are here to promise to love each other for eternity, although they are not aware of what their future might be: joys and trials, just like married life is. Those who are married know well that marriage is made of joys but it is also made of trials. Only if there is a true love for Jesus, all trials can be overcome. This is why people still marry in the presence of God: because there is faith that everything can be overcome through God, everything can be resolved. Here is the challenge that those who have faith have already won. Because even if you were to fail – and it may happen, on the path of life, in the journey of a lifetime, that trials may make you fail – you know that there is something that you can hold on to: a Stone, a Rock, the Stone, the living Rock that will always help you to recover. Sometimes it will be the man to relieve the woman, other times it will be the woman to relieve the man. But in that love, they will find themselves, they will be one. Here is “the” sign, another sign for you that know and love them; and so for all of us who love them, because they are part of us, part of this Church, living limbs of this Church.
This is the Feast of the Divine Mercy that we live and celebrate today. Baby Jesus is a sign (Lk 2:12), “the” sign of the infinite Mercy that the Father has given to His faithful sons in this Land of Love.
Be clothed by the Light of Christ, the One who has risen. Go and teach the people again (Mt 28:19), with your example, with your love, because this is what is needed: examples of life. So that many may rediscover the joy of being Christians, to put Christ at the centre of their life.
Today in this Land of Love, the universal message of Christ and of the Church of Christ speaks again to the Gentiles and says: «Rise up, clothe yourselves with the Light of Christ, the One who has risen from the dead» (Is 60:1).
This Mother Church, depositary of the Mystery of God, depositary of the purity of faith, depositary of the only Beacon of the Light that Christ radiates, has once again spread the universality of the fatherly sonship in all those who recognize themselves in His Son (Jn 1:12). Sons of God’s Son.
Christ is Life (Jn 14:6) and He has manifested, manifests and will manifest it even more during this Easter. Whoever wants to raise to new life, has to come and savour the harmony, the holiness and the delights that rise higher. Whoever wants to understand, has to come and see. Nothing is hidden in this Church, everything is manifested. Exclaim and proclaim, even you, the amazement at the wonders that the Father has done in this Land. In front of Baby Jesus, even you all, say: «My Lord and My God» (Jn 20:28). And in Baby Jesus you will recognize the Sign that the Father has wanted to give to this humanity, following the example of the Apostle who wanted to see and touch (Jn 20:24-25). And Jesus answered: «Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe» (Jn 20:29).
Mary, the totally beautiful, the totally pure, will help us. Trust in Her motherly Heart. Trust in Her Immaculate Heart. As the Apostles, the saints and the martyrs in history have done. Look at Her example of faithful Bride, Mother and Daughter and everything will become easy. Here is the journey of God’s sons who, on the example of Jesus and Mary, advance, love each other and win. The love and the faithfulness of the universal Mother, will guide us to remain steadfast in faith and to be able to sing the glory of God again. «Christ is risen, alleluia. He is truly risen, alleluia, alleluia». And so be it.