Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Meditations for
Easter & Divine Mercy

Father John J. Lombardi

Q.: What do supermodels, body builders and the Risen Jesus have in common? A.: Nothing (much). The bodybuilders and models work at bodily "airbrushed perfection" eschewing all imperfection and woundedness, and, oppositely, the Risen Jesus’ Body is filled with wounds­Christ-Risen manifests a kinda "broken beauty" which is anathema in the model-body worship of today’s world. In this Sundays’ Gospel (St Jn. 20: ) The Risen Jesus appears to the Apostles and "doubting Thomas" (standing in for us all, perhaps),and invites them to touch His Glorious Wounds. Why? Perhaps because the Lord Jesus wants us to realize three important things: first, He perhaps wanted to remind them (and us) what He did for us­suffered and died for us sinners; second, we shall have bodies like his own in Glory; and third, that we are privileged to touch His glorious wounds­not only sometime in heaven, but also here on Earth as we seek to serve His wounded flock.

What are some other themes of this Gospel, Easter and Divine Mercy?

Don’t be a "doubting Thomas": believe. We all need Faith, which is a kinda supernatural disposition, a holy habit, which "glues" us to God, His Will, precisely when we cannot normally, humanly, reasonably explain things. Faith fills in the void­it is a holy trust in God and His Church. So: Make "little acts of Faith" Jesus I Trust in You"; "God I Adore You" to "train your brain" against doubts and dissenting against God and His Church!

Make sure you have supports when your belief is not so strong? Try: Mass; and: reading the lives of the saints; reading the Bible and other spiritual reading (a regular "diet" will do great for your soul); refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for help­don’t be persisting in unbelief but believe­and keep getting some help!

Perfect Prayer: St Thomas gives us these sacred four words: "My Lord, My God." Keep saying them as your act of Faith.

See and believe…See God’s Creation and believe. See His marvels for you­food, clothing, shelter, family, friends: and also blessings, and believe. See His Eucharist, especially, and believe! He continues all this for you!

Don’t see and believe: Often in life we have ‘eclipses of God’ instead of "epiphanies" (appearances). Many saints had long darknessses and "seeming absences of God­Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, Saint Therese of Liseaux and St Teresa of Avila. Yet they all still persevered and believed. Keep on keeping on like them precisely by your love of God­no matter what!­and your devotion and holy habits and practice of the Faith to help you thru all things.

Christ, in His Mercy allows us to see Him: in the Eucharist­so keep going to Mass and Holy Communion!

Attributes of the Resurrection

In his book, "Dogma," Dr. Ludwig Ott recounts the theology of some writers in discussing Jesus’ Resurrected Body and, possibly, ours-- if we are worthy of Him!...

Impassiblitias=incapable of suffering anymore (Rev. 21:4: Death shall be no more; no more crying or sorrow).Thnk: you’ll never have to get an HMO or doctor check again!

Agilitas=the capability of the body to obey the soul with greater ease and speed of movement, versus the heaviness of the body upon the soul. This agility was manifested by Jesus as He appeared to the Apostles and disappeared as easily (Jn. 20:19). Think: no more "Monday mornings" or sluggishness.

Claritas=light filled body: "The just shall shine like the sun in the Kingdom of the Father" (Mt. 13:43). Think of haloes and nimbuses and ethereal bodies!

Subtilitas=a spiritualized nature which, as the Risen Jesus did, penetrated doors (Jn. 20;19,26)and shows the complete dominion of the transfigured sol in the form of the body. Think: You’ll be complete, whole!

Divine Mercy:

In 1931, our Lord appeared to St. Faustina in a vision. She saw Jesus clothed in a white garment with His right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching His garment in the area of the Heart, from where two large rays came forth, one red and the other pale. She gazed intently at the Lord in silence, her soul filled with awe, but also with great joy. Jesus said to her:Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory (Diary, 47, 48). I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You (327). I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world (47).

The message of mercy is that God loves us ­ all of us no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that

His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.

A ­ Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B ­ Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C ­ Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

Happy and Blessed Easter!

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi