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Acts 5: 12-16
Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Revelation 1: 9-11A, 12-13, 17-19
John 20: 19-31
"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is
everlasting." This refrain of the Responsorial Psalm
conveys the spirit of each of today's readings. Our
God is good! Our God is always here for us! There is
nothing to fear so go out into the world to share the mercy of God!
Can you imagine the confusion and fear that gripped the disciples as they
were gathered in the upper room following Jesus' crucifixion? They had
witnessed him curing the sick, feeding the multitudes, welcoming the re-
jected, forgiving the sinful -- constantly showing mercy to others. How
could such a good and loving man be subjected to such scorn, humiliation
and, ultimately, to death? The disciples must have thought if that hap-
pened to him, what would become of them? Locked away in the upper
room, their fear must have been overwhelming.
But then Jesus came and stood in their midst saying, "Peace be with you."
His work on earth had not ended with his death. It was just beginning. The
disciples who had accompanied him throughout his ministry were about to
be sent forth to be instruments of mercy. What exactly is mercy? Simply
stated, mercy is an act of kindness, compassion or favor.
The prophet Micah informed the people of his day that the only thing the
Lord requires is "to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your
God" (Micah 6:8). Jesus instructed his disciples to do the same. "As the Fa-
ther has sent me, so I send you." The disciples believed in Jesus because
they saw what he had done. Now Jesus was sending them out to be instru-
ments of mercy to those who had not seen but would come to believe be-
cause of the signs and wonders performed through their hands.