Humanity must let itself be touched and pervaded by the Spirit given to it by the risen Christ. It is the Spirit who heals the wounds of the heart, pulls down the barriers that separate us from God and divide us from one another, and at the same time, restores the joy of the Father’s love and of fraternal unity. It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”. Christ has taught us that “man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but is also called ‘to practise mercy’ towards others: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7)Pope Saint John Paul II, Commentary on Second Sunday of Easter (Year B), People’s Edition, CTS New Daily Missal 2012
I think we all need forgiveness. The blissful feeling of the heaviness being lifted and the light openness of peace streaming though us. Forgiveness is healing.
Just as we receive forgiveness, we can give forgiveness as a gift. We can forgive others. But why is it sometimes so hard to forgive? It can be, especially when we try to do it all on our own.
The Holy Spirit provides the strength and ability to forgive. After Jesus’ death and resurrection (our celebration of Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday), Jesus appeared to the disciples and ‘breathed’ on them, giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and He immediately told them that whatever sins they forgave were forgiven and whatever sins they retained were retained (see John 20:23).
So we, like the disciples, have been given this mandate to forgive, yet it is not always easy. I like how Joyce Meyer puts it,
‘Whenever someone does something to me I need to forgive, I pray, “Holy Spirit, breathe on me and give me the strength to forgive this person’ – I do that because my emotions are screaming inside of me, ‘ You have hurt me and that is not fair!”Joyce Meyer, Forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, The Everyday Life Bible 2006
I like this painting of Jesus on the Cross. Though his image is a solid reminder of his suffering for us, the image is softened by the beautiful yellow and orange warmth that emanates from Him. It is clear that the artist is gently leading our focus, and drawing us into this yellow and orange light and warmth. To show Jesus’ love for us perhaps? The Holy Spirit? His unconditional forgiveness for us? His Divine Mercy. There is so much love, and comfort and transformation in infinite abundance. I could look at this piece all day.
The illuminating sky, to me, is full of peace, and hope and the lightness we receive and give during forgiveness. It is a beautiful place. A place of peaceful Presence.
Which parts of this piece resonate with you the most?
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