Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon
May the Blessed heart of the Divine Mercy Saviour, bless you and heal you in this great celebration of God’s Mercy.
The feast comes soon after Easter Sunday. Resurrection is the celebration of Hope. It is a strong affirmation that God can create wonders even out of the tomb. Life will spring forth from death, when the Lord’s time comes. The last one year has been a year of darkness and death. You have witnessed so much of human suffering. Let the heart of Jesus heal every one: the oppressor and the oppressed.
Myitkyina has been in the news for sad reasons and reasons of faith and sacrifice. Sad reason because of the great tragedy of killing the innocents in the streets, especially in front of the church. The Church was drawn into the struggle of our people, called to accompany our people in their blood and tears. You really walked a true way of the Cross. I pray that each one of you is healed of that sorrowful memories. For many of you, the thirteenth station of the Cross, of our mother crying over the dead body of her son, became real. We live in a country where hundreds of mothers live with inconsolable tears and their hearts wounded, like our Mother Mary, with the sight of their sons and daughters tortured and killed. To all those mothers and all of you directly involved, we pray with grace flowing from the heart of Jesus.
We are also grateful for the great witness the Catholic Church gave during the crisis. Starting from your prayer rally till today you have accompanied your people in their times of trial. The Myitkyina name is put on the international map through the inspiring witness of Sister Ann Rose of St Francis Xavier Sisters. The world watched with awe at the great sacrificial witness in front of the tsunami of evil. I commend the witness to the redemptive love of the sister, which inspired many to appreciate the Catholic Church and the religious life. Out of darkness, simple acts of generosity shines with great power.
This message of redemptive love is in summary the message of divine mercy. Forgiveness at the face of darkness, love at the face of hatred is the message our Lord gave to Sister Faustina in his many apparitions. Today’s opening prayer starts "Heavenly Father and God of Mercy, We no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for He is alive and has become the Lord of Life." Yes, the resurrection mystery is solved through the mercy of God.
Amidst all the great challenges we face today, we seek the mercy of God. Times are dark, path seems challenging. We need the light of God’s mercy in Myanmar. We pray with St. Faustina the chaplet
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
We do pray all your family, your children are guarded by the mercy and compassion of Jesus. His love is inexhaustible. Let every house be protected by the love of Divine Mercy.
What does this feast tell us at this juncture of History?
Jesus revealed to St Faustina that Divine Mercy is honored in three ways
- By Good Deeds
- By Good Words
- By Strong Prayer
Yes. Mercy starts with good deeds. The experience of all the disciples after the resurrection was to see one another as brothers and sisters. They shared everything. The Acts of the Apostle says: All the believers were one in heart and mind, sharing all resources. There was no one in need of anything. That was the ideal community after resurrection. This is what attracted thousands into the new community of believers. They loved one another as brothers and sisters.
Today, more than ever, our community stands in need of mercy. Millions are starving. Before they could come out of that disaster, the coup came. Most of our people are starving. We need to share our resources. However poor we are, we could share something. That is the sign of divine mercy.
If we are compassionate and merciful God rewards us hundredfold. Jesus said, even giving a cup of water gives us a chance to enter heaven. (Mt 10:42) These are times for mercy. The stomach is a great disaster when hunger sets in and millions are starving in this country because of the double disaster. Good deeds are needed today every where and the Lord of Divine Mercy reminds us not to have a faith that is not matched by deeds. (James 2). Thousands are around us are affected: in IDP camps, victims of pandemic, the coup.
Hunger is not only the problem our people face: they are afraid, they are traumatized, their spirit is broken by street violence. They need Words. Words of comfort. We need to visit people who have lost their dear ones to the hatred. These families need our words. This is what our Lord told St Faustina: Heal one another with Words of Mercy. There are hundreds of people who live in fear, anxiety and dread. Thousands are in prisons. They all need the soothing words, like Jesus soothed his disciples: Do Not be Afraid; I am with you always.
The third act the Lord of Divine Mercy asked for is: PRAYER. Prayer is the utmost need. There are mountains of problems for all of us. COVID and coup – two big mountains suffocating our people. How to move these mountains and come to normal life? Jesus says: Have faith, pray unceasingly. If you have the faith of a mustard seed and ask this mountain to move, it will move. We need to move this mountains. Knock at the heavenly gates. Ask the Lord to give peace, seek and find harmony in our country.
The Gospel reading follows the message of Resurrection. Let there be peace everywhere. When Jesus appeared after resurrection, he is repeating the message the Angels sang when he was born: Peace to all men of Good Will.
We have seen how lack of peace some people’s heart can bring greatest damage to humanity. People who can trust others, who cannot live in peace, who cannot allow others to live in peace, destroy the peace of all. So Jesus wishes to his disciples, peace be with you. The greatest gift one can pray for is Peace. That is worthier than all gold and silver. Kachin land was blessed with so many riches above the ground and below the ground. But that did not bring peace: but only conflict. We pray that this yea our land may see peace. Men’s heart may melt and we may see peaceful life for all.
The second part of the Gospel has a moving scene. St Thomas. Thomas could not believe in the power of God. He wants to touch the wounds. He is like us today. We have seen so many wounds, so much blood, so much atrocity against the innocent people: We find it difficult to believe that God is present amidst this darkness. Yes. Amidst all these darkness, my brothers and sisters, it is important to believe that God will ultimately triumph over evil. His hand is the ultimate surrender. Like Thomas we will be called to cry out in wonder and say; My Lord; My God. Let all the Kachin areas say this prayer: We are wounded Lord, touch our wounds, make us to proclaim, My Lord and My God.
Thomas was healed of his darkness, his doubt, his loss of Faith. Jesus is the wounded healer. His wounds washes away our pain today. We pray to Jesus: Help us Lord, when our land is wounded and bleeding with hatred, let us become the wounded healer. Let us have the grace and courage to forgive and reconcile our worst enemies and give him the benefit of Love. Let us not repay inhumanity with inhumanity, Let us not repay brutality with brutality. Civil war would wound every one and will take decades to heal. Let us not take that path of self-destruction. Let us pray with Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Stay Blessed: We shall overcome any darkness with the Light of Jesus.