Alleluia ! Alleluia ! Alleluia ! The Lord has risen ! |


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Alleluia ! Alleluia ! Alleluia ! The Lord has risen !

刊登日期: 2013.04.07
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

“O death, where is your victory? 

O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55) 

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. Last time I wrote, we reflected upon the love Jesus had for us, and that love was to be witnessed by married couples in their total giving of themselves to each other as gifts of God. (Eph 5:21-33) This week, we reflect upon the great message of the Resurrection of Jesus as the sure sign of God’s mercy. 

Let me begin with the word “Alleluia” or “Hallel-u-Yah”. It came from the Hebrew meaning “Praise Yahweh (God)!” Hallel is a set of six psalms (113-118) sung to praise God particularly at Passover for deliverance from slavery in Egypt. It is usually chanted, and begins with “Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech ha-olam” “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe.” It is fitting that we use it to praise God for His great mercy. Jesus, the Passover Victim, by His Death and Resurrection, has freed us from slavery to sin. 

When He appeared to the apostles in the Upper Room on Easter Sunday, He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20:21- 23) 

The apostles were sent to forgive sins! Justice demands punishment due to sin. Yet Jesus goes beyond the just due of sin. He wants to forgive. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” ( Jn 3:17) 

Blessed Pope John Paul pointed out the Mercy puts a limit on Justice. That is, in God, mercy begins where justice ends. Justice could go only so far to restore the disorder caused by sin. Mercy heals what justice cannot. 

Let me try to explain it this way. I have stolen $10 from you. Justice demands that I pay back the $10. When that is done, justice is served. But how do I restore the broken relationship? Only you can forgive me. Forgiveness is in your hands. You may choose not to forgive. It is your prerogative. Your mercy allows me to be friends with you again. 

This is what is missing in our world. We often demand justice but refuse to be merciful (forgiving). We let the original injustice continue to hurt us. That is the greater damage of sin. The damage of sin is often more than just the surface damage done by injustice. Jesus wants us to go beyond that. He wants our relationship to be whole again. That is what devotion to the Divine Mercy of God does. “Jesus, I trust in You!” Trusting in Jesus means that we must also risk being hurt again. For the sake of the greater gift of relationship, we trust that Jesus will heal the offender as well as the offended. 

Over and over again, God forgives the Jewish people for their unfaithfulness to Him because though freed, they still act like slaves. Ultimately, Jesus came to restore Israel by His own death on the Cross, and on the eighth day, Easter Sunday, the First Day of a New Seven Days (New Creation), established the New Israel. 

(It is precisely in this miraculous mercy of Jesus that married couples can forgive each other, even of adultery, and that the Church teaches that there is no divorce.) 

In order for us to truly sing Alleluia, let us heal our brokenness by forgiving those who have sinned against us. Let our love for each other be born again! 

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