Reverend Father Wilmer Rosario, our dear rector and parish priest; dear concelebrating priests and assisting deacons; beloved brothers and sisters in Christ:
I bring you joyful greetings of a blessed and happy Easter! At para sa inyo dito sa Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy, maligayang kapistahan po sa inyo!
Our Gospel today tells us that the Risen Lord appeared to his disciples, bearing wounds on his body, on his nailed hands and on his pierced side. How lovely is that wound on the pierced side of Jesus. At the moment of his death on the cross, one of the soldiers pierced his side with lance. If that soldier was on the foot of the cross, then that lance would thrusted into the sacred heart of the Lord.
What is this lance that pierced the heart of Jesus? That lance symbolized all the forces of sin and death in the world. Kasama dito ang lahat ng pagtataksil ng mga Hudas at pag-aalinlangan ng mga Tomas, ang pang-iiwan ng mga Pedro at pang-uusig ng mga Pablo, ang pagkikibit-balikat ng mga Pilato at karahasan ng mga Romano, ang panunulsol ng matatanda ng templo at ang pakikiuso ng madlang tao. Kasama na rin ang lahat ng pananamantala sa mahihina, pagsasara sa naiiba, at paninira sa sangnilikha. Ang buong pait at sakit ng sangkatauhan sa sanlibutan ay sumuot sa puso ng Anak ng Diyos. All of these pain and evil pierced into the Merciful Heart of Jesus.
And how did the heart of Jesus respond to all these? Ano ang tugon ng puso ni Hesus? Dumaloy umano ang dugo at tubig. Blood and water flowed out from the heart of Jesus. And what are blood and water? These are birth fluids! The Gospel is likening the Crucified Lord to a woman giving birth. From the cross, from his pierced heart, Jesus is giving birth to a new humanity, to a new mode of relating to God.
Our fallen nature is like a computer: garbage in, garbage out. The garbage that we give will be paid back with garbage, sometimes even worse. That is why they would say that “hurt people hurt people.” Nananakit ang tao kasi daw nasasaktan. And sometimes, because of our fear of pain and loss, we even take the initiative to hurt and to hoard, to cheat and to defeat. But the heart of Jesus is different: pierced with sin and evil, but beating and flowing with Divine Mercy. Sinasaksak ng kasalanan, pero pumipintig ng kahabagan. Like a woman giving birth, he gives life while enduring pain. To the traitor, he offered brotherhood (Jn 14:26) and to the doubter, he gave peace (Jn 20:27). To the deserter, he entrusted the shepherding of the Church (Jn 21:15-19) and to the persecutor, entrusted the mission (1 Tim 1:12-16). And for the sinner, he prayed for Divine Mercy (Lc 23:34).
Brothers and sisters, the Gospel today indicates that the glorious resurrection of Jesus did not obliterate the wounds that he endured in his passion. Instead, those very wounds became signs and testimonies to the triumph of love and life over sin and death. By his wounds, he assured them of peace and breathed on them his Holy Spirit. Through his wounds, the Lord’s Divine Mercy conquers all sin.
Most likely, when Thomas was putting his hand in the pierced side of the Risen Lord, blood and water was still oozing and flowing from it, as if telling Thomas: “Come now, my beloved, surrender to me all your doubts and frustrations. It is really me whom you see and touch; I am living; I am loving.” To this, Thomas could not help but exclaim: “My Lord and my God!”
Dear brothers and sister, let us also entrust and surrender all our broken and wounded hearts into that pierced heart of Jesus. Halina’t ipagkatiwala natin ang mga puso nating nasasaktan at nananakit sa puso ni Hesus. May we also learn to choose healing over hurting, hope over despair, and love over indifference. May our hearts be transformed by his heart that overflows with Divine Mercy.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Jesus, King of Mercy, we trust in you. Amen. (Photo by Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)