By Corrinne May
During Palm Sunday’s gospel readings, I was struck in particular by the strong reaction of the crowd in choosing to crucify Jesus instead of Barabbas. The reading tells us:
And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” (Matthew 27:25)
I was struck because I don’t think the crowd at that time realised what they were saying and how in God’s plan, they were saying precisely what was needed to save them.
God has a habit of using what was originally meant for evil, as an instrument for our salvation. He brings light into the darkness. He transforms that which wounds, into that which heals.
He does it time and time again. Adam’s “Happy Fault”, the Cross, the Spear that pierced our Saviour’s heart bringing forth the water and blood, the instruments of our salvation.
During one of the presentations in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, called the Preparation of the Chalice, where we invite the children to discover the liturgy of the mass, the catechist re-enacts what the priest does at every mass where he adds a little bit of water to the wine in the chalice before offering it up to God.
I am often struck by how that plain, simple, drop of water, that represents us, pierces through the surface of that wine that represents the immense love of God. I am struck by how the wine that will soon become Jesus’ blood, envelops the small drop of water, just as how God’s love envelops me if I were to fall into His embrace. I am struck by how that little drop of water mingled within that wine, will never ever be able to be separated from the wine, just as how we, will never be separated from the love of God.
It brings forth the truth that Kavin (my husband) himself discovered in his preparation for his first confession while journeying with the RCIA last year.
The truth being: God’s mercy is greater than our sin.
Just as the tip of that spear thrust by the Centurion on Calvary into Jesus was enveloped in the blood of our Savior’s heart, so too, our sin, our wounds, are enveloped by the love and mercy of God, should we choose to fall into that mercy and be washed clean in His Blood.
To be willing to fall into His Mercy implies a humbling of ourselves, a readiness to confess that we are nothing without God, a trusting that when we fall, we will be caught in His embrace.
Claire scraped her knee on the school yard gravel the other day. It bled for a while, but quickly started clotting up and forming a scab the next day. How amazing are our bodies. How amazing the blood that heals from the moment we receive a wound.
So too, the love and mercy of God. It is like the blood that gushes forth immediately to heal the wound that is afflicted. Even though our sins be scarlet, even though our sin be as the wounds that scourged our dear Savior, His Blood is always there to heal. His mercy is infinite.
Claire had her first reconciliation about a month ago. Afterwards, she mentioned that she was struck by how kind the priest was. Indeed, Jesus Himself meets us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I remember too, when I was a child. My response to my first confession was tears. I was just moved by how much God loved me that he would wash His little lamb clean.
As long as we approach the font of mercy, we can avail ourselves of His Mercy. Happy Divine Mercy Sunday!
Photo: Claire after her first reconciliation at St Ignatius Church last month