If you or I do something stupendous, we want people to know about it – and quickly. It’s one of the reasons that Twitter and similar social media seem to be so popular. And yet Jesus chose to let the news of His resurrection from the dead spread slowly and gently. Why?
He could easily have appeared to the whole of Jerusalem, but He didn’t. Only a few faithful women were his earliest heralds. I think the answer comes from the whole wedding analogy that has been so strong this Paschal Triduum. When a gentleman in love goes down on one knee and offers his lady love the pearl of great price as a pledge of that love, he gives her time to respond and never ever forces that response – because it needs to be free and genuine if a whole new life together is to be built upon it. The Lord Jesus awaits from us those ‘I Do’s’ which will bind us to Him forever – our baptismal promises; and each year He gives an opportunity at the Easter Vigil and at the Easter Sunday Masses to renew and deepen those ‘I Do’s’ to Him.
It is only in the context of the reminders of His love in our living out of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the wonder of the resurrection liturgically that we are able to say those ‘I Do’s’ with gusto and understanding.
With this in mind, the intention for today’s Divine Mercy novena becomes thoroughly appropriate. Jesus asks us to bring all devout and faithful souls to His immense Mercy. It is another way of saying, ‘Bring all of those who have ever been baptised, all of those who have said ‘I Do’ to each of the baptismal promises,and immerse them in My Mercy. These souls have received the fruits of My Passion and have made it worthwhile.’ (my paraphrase only)
In this intention Jesus shares with us His joy over all of those who have become His through baptism, and invites us to pray for all that we and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ need to remain faithful to that baptismal commitment. Jesus sees in the devout and faithful baptised the Simon’s and Veronica’s who consoled Him by their generous help on the Way of the Cross. They were the tiny rays of hope and love produced by everyday men and women in the ocean of extreme violence that was unleashed against Him.
We all need His mercy – particularly those who have wandered far from the vision of holiness that was held out to us at our baptism. Only with His Mercy do we have the power to make a new start on the road to sanctity – and He wants to give us these graces in abundance.
So let us say our ‘I Do’s’ with gusto and true commitment today, and seek His Mercy upon ourselves and upon all the lay members of His Holy Church.
Jesus, I trust in You.
All holy women to whom the news of the Resurrection was first given, pray for us.