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Homily for the second Sunday of Easter

19 Apr 2020, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

Homily for the second Sunday of Easter

Divine Mercy

The resurrection power came with restoration power; Jesus arose to raise us to unimaginable height, a height no other power except ourselves can pull down. We certainly do not deserve this favor, but the unfathomable mercy of God never fails; it endures forever to lift and restore us. Though we appreciate God’s mercies every moment, we celebrate divine mercy, especially every second Sunday of Easter; a gift and a product of the sprinkled blood.

Those who have taken their time to meditate on the power of the sprinkled blood know how vocal and strong it is. When you carry the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ with faith, every other sacrifice and ritual bow in submission. The sprinkled blood of Christ speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24). Blood speaks; the blood of Abel spoke in Genesis 4:10, and the sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ also speaks. But the sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ speaks a better word than that of Abel. That is what we celebrate today, the effect of the sprinkled blood, Mercy, and Restoration.

When the blood of Abel spoke in Genesis, it cried out for vengeance against his brother Cain who murdered him. It was all about condemnation, about the evil Cain committed. But the sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ speaks a better language of love, mercy, and forgiveness. It is not about our failures, weaknesses, and sins, but about our restoration. In our second reading, Paul blest the Father for the gift of mercy, he says; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). Through His resurrection, Christ opened the fountain of mercy for us. A fountain that has its source in the heart of the Father and flows through the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Divine mercy brings restoration; we see that this morning in our gospel passage (John 20:19-31). The apostles were men called by Christ to be strong vessels and channels of the gospel of truth. Though called and chosen, they were weakened by fear, doubt, and what seemed to them as a disappointment. They were losing their spiritual breath, but Jesus breathed on them again. In love and mercy, He restored their diminishing breath. He gave them the gift of peace and filled them with the Holy Spirit (John 20:21-22).

With his sprinkled blood and the power of His resurrection, Christ restored the lost breath. As believers, therefore, we must key into the power of the sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ that has become for us an ocean of mercy. Do not be manipulated to accept demonic lies that you cannot be restored; you can. God is ready to suspend everything for your restoration. Ask for spiritual revival now, turn your prayerlessness into prayerfulness, your doubt to faith. Be open for impartation, let the power of the word come upon you to reveal the hidden mysteries of the salvation we all have in Christ Jesus; He loves you.

There’s no doubt we live in a very challenging time; the current pandemic is shaking the world to rain down frustration, anger, hunger, doubts, and death. This is frightening, but as mountains surround Jerusalem, so we are surrounded by divine mercy. Because of the blood, we will not bow to the spirit behind this pandemic. If it can shake the world to rain fears, hunger, sickness, all kinds of evil, and death, the sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ will shake the heavens specifically for our families and us to rain mercy, forgiveness, faith, boldness, healing, and restoration. The divine mercy may seem to be so far away, but it’s so near. He blest the Church with the sacrament through which we are reconciled to the Father in His name, the sacrament of reconciliation. The power to forgive sins He gave to the apostles behind that closed door that separated and set them apart. This apostolic authority flowed down to us through the laying on of hands. The laying on of hands is a symbolic act that sets one apart; it empowers, authorizes, and fills one with the Holy Spirit. The power to forgive sins is of Christ, given to the apostles and transmitted in the Catholic Church through the apostolic succession. On this day, therefore, we thank God for His mercies and forgiveness and mark our doorposts with the sprinkled blood of Christ against any pandemic. Amen.

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