April 16 2023: Bible Verse of the Day – Divine Mercy Sunday, Year A, Year B, and Year C – Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and Have Believed – John 20:19-31
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”John 20:19-31
28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Let us pray: Dear God, bypass our human weaknesses and use us to spread Your Word to the whole world just the same way You used Apostle Thomas.
Help us to never doubt Your presence in our lives, and that You will always help us when we believe in You and call on Your Holy Name. Amen.
Catholic Readings for Today
Bible Verse of the Day for April 16 2023 Reflections
Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. This is what Thomas knew at that time when Jesus was appearing to His disciples after His resurrection.
Thomas, just like all of us would have done, didn’t believe that Jesus had resurrected. But Jesus was not angry or mad at him for his disbelief, in fact, He had to come again a second time so as to reveal Himself to Thomas.
This underscores the very important task that Jesus wants us to undertake even with our human weaknesses. Jesus will still use us to spread His Gospel to the whole world.
After realizing that Jesus resurrected and is alive, Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” These words transformed Thomas from a dis-believer to a believer in the risen Christ. So, the pronouncement we make from our hearts through our mouths are very strong.
Let us today say like Thomas, ‘My Lord and my God’ in every difficult situation where we find ourselves doubting the power of Jesus Christ. Jesus will always reveal Himself to us both at our strongest and weakest points in our day-to-day life.
Thomas, despite his doubt in the Risen Christ, became one of the greatest Gospel evangelizers in Asia. We too should not be bogged down by our weaknesses, let us rise to the occasion and do God’s will of spreading His Word to the whole world.
Divine Mercy Sunday Celebration
This day of Divine Mercy Sunday is full of grace. It marks the end of the eight-day Easter Octave, and on this eighth day, we commemorate the Sunday of Divine Mercy.
It’s a special day when God’s mercy is poured out upon us generously, exceeding our wildest expectations. It’s as though the flood-gates of mercy have been opened wide, and we are blessed beyond measure.
For many years, Divine Mercy Sunday was observed as a private devotion.
However, in the year 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II, who was known for his own personal devotion to God’s mercy, added this feast to the official calendar of the Church.
This act coincided with the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska, who played a significant role in promoting the message of God’s Divine Mercy.
St Faustina Kowalska was a nun who belonged to the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow, Poland and died in 1938.
Despite her humble background, coming from a poor family of farmers and having only three years of basic education, she performed the most menial tasks in her convent.
However, she was also a mystic who had numerous private revelations from our Lord, which she documented in her diary of Divine Mercy.
St Faustina Kowalska explained that one day during the evening, while she was in her cell, she had an experience where she became aware of the Lord Jesus appearing before her, dressed in a white garment.
Jesus’ right hand was raised in a gesture of blessing, while His left hand was touching His garment at the breast.
As St Faustina Kowalska looked closely, she noticed two large rays emerging from the opening in His garment, one red and one pale.
While she was overwhelmed with both fear and joy, she gazed silently at the Lord. After some time had passed, Jesus instructed her to paint an image that resembled what she had seen, complete with the words: “Jesus, I trust in You.”
St Faustina Kowalska said that Jesus explained to her that the significance of the two rays that emerged from the Lord’s garment is that the pale ray represents the Water that cleanses and justifies souls, while the red ray symbolizes the Blood which is the source of life for souls.
These two rays originated from the profound depths of the Lord’s infinite Mercy at the moment when His suffering Heart was pierced by a lance on the Cross. It is a great blessing for anyone who seeks refuge under the shelter of these rays, as they will be spared from the wrath of God.
According to St. Faustina Kowalska, Jesus instructed her that Divine Mercy Sunday is a day when the deepest and most tender aspects of His mercy are available to all. He pours out an abundance of graces upon those who approach Him with a contrite heart.
Those who confess their sins and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of both their sins and their punishment.
On this day, all the channels through which grace flows are opened wide, and no one should fear approaching Him, regardless of the gravity of their sins. His mercy is so immense that no human or angelic mind could ever comprehend it.
As we commemorate Divine Mercy Sunday, it is a time to deeply contemplate the immense generosity of the gift that God desires to lavish upon us.
We are loved unconditionally by our merciful God, and on this eighth day of Easter, we should be acutely aware that the gates of Heaven are flung open wide for us to receive boundless graces and mercy.
So let us turn our hearts to our compassionate Lord and be receptive to all that He wishes to bestow upon us.
Bible Verse of the Day in Pictures
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