Catholic in Yanchep

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2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B | Does God’s Divine Mercy mean you don’t have to do anything to be saved?

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The Incredulity of St Thomas, Caravaggio, (1602), oil on canvas, Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam, Germany.

The Incredulity of St Thomas, Caravaggio, (1602), oil on canvas, Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam, Germany.

This Sunday is the Divine Mercy Sunday, and Pope Francis is about to convoke a Jubilee of Divine Mercy starting on 8th December.  A jubilee year is a time of joy and universal pardon (see Leviticus 25).  Does this mean we are all going to be pardoned without our cooperation?  Let’s remember what St Augustine said:

“He was handed over for our offenses, and He rose again for our justification (19).” What does this mean, “for our justification”? So that He might justify us; so that He might make us just. You will be a work of God, not only because you are a man, but also because you are just. For it is better that you be just than that you be a man. If God made you a man, and you made yourself just, something you were doing would be better than what God did. But God made you without any cooperation on your part. For you did not lend your consent so that god could make you. How could you have consented, when you did not exist? But he who made you without your consent does not justify you without your consent. He made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without you willing it.” (Sermon 169, 13, ca. 391-430 A.D.)

To quote Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously, “What then, must we do?” To understand what you need to do, listen to Fr Barron’s homily here.  It’s not enough just to be ‘a nice person’.  Or as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ. (The Cost of Discipleship)

Today’s readings can be downloaded here:

Word format: Year B Easter 2nd Sunday 2015

Pdf format: Year B Easter 2nd Sunday 2015

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