Project Description

Divine Mercy Sunday/Easter 2A

Acts 2:42-47 / 1 Peter 1:3-9 / John 20:19-31

 

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday!

 

Here’s something really interesting?!?

 

Now listen to this. . . .

 

The Hebrew word for “mercy”—

The Hebrew word for “mercy”

is derived from. . .

 

the Hebrew word for “womb.”

 

The Hebrew word for ‘mercy” is

derived from the Hebrew word for “womb”

 

Isn’t that interesting.

 

You can see that when we discover the

etymology for Hebrew word for “mercy”. . .

 

it gives us great insight into the “mercy” of God

 

It’s in the womb where we were nourished. . .

 

It’s in the womb where we grew and developed . . .

 

It’s in the womb where we were protected. . . .

 

It was so warm in the womb. . . .

 

We had all we needed

while we were in the womb.

 

And oh, how much we were loved while inside the womb.

 

Ask any mother and she’ll tell you

about that unique connection—

how love grows and grows and grows

between her and her baby while

it’s in the womb.

 

 

Ever observe a pregnant woman when

she gets further along in gestation?

 

What does she do?

 

She rubs her belly!!!

 

It’s in the womb where that inseparable bond develops.

 

You know, when you really look at it. . .

the Bible is essentially is one basic story.

 

It’s the story of humanity doing just

about anything we can think of

to fight our way out of that womb . . . .

 

And God doing just about

anything to keep us in.

 

We want to be on our own—

we want to be independent.

 

We want to leave that divine protection

and fend for ourselves—

we can do it we say—

I can do it on my own.

 

Think of Adam and Eve—

expelled from the Garden—

They wanted to do it their way.

 

Think of the Israelites—

slaves under the Egyptians. . . .

and when God frees them and

gets them back in the womb—

they rebel in the desert.

 

They don’t want the nourishment

that God gives them—

they don’t like the manna—

 

they’d rather be enslaved and eat

the food the Egyptians fed them.

 

 

Think of the Israelites as exiles under the Assyrians. . . .

and exiles under the Babylonians—

their actions moved them out of the womb.

 

And God pleads and begs and cajoles and warns—

He gives them the law—

He sends the prophets—

anything to get them back.

 

And think of Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son.

 

It’s that same story—

It’s that one story of the Bible:

 

Humanity—

the prodigal son—

wanting to break free from the

loving care of the Father—

he wants to have a go of it on his own.

 

And it’s a disaster. . . .

 

The Father knows it’s going to be a disaster.

 

So the Father goes out several times a day—

Day after day after day—

taking that lonely walk to the edge of his property—

just watching—

and watching—

and watching.

 

Just hoping—

and hoping—

to get that glimpse of his Son coming back home.

 

Back to Him—

Back into the womb of God—

Where he’ll be loved and nourished

Where he’ll be protected—

Where he’ll develop into the man he was meant to be.

 

And think of the story in today’s Gospel.

 

The Apostles. . .

 

they betrayed Him—

they denied Him—

they doubted Him.

they left Him alone to die.

 

They had left the womb.

 

No wonder they were scared. . .

 

And not just scared of the Jewish leaders and Romans. . .

 

when they saw Jesus,

they were scared of him too.

 

They failed Him.

 

And maybe Jesus was coming back to get revenge.

 

But anything. . . .

anything to bring them back in.

 

Forgiving them. . .

and loving them. . . .

and reassuring them

 

“Peace be with you.”

 

Mercy and love—

Mercy and love.

 

You know—

as an Obstetrician—

some of the most heroic acts

I had the privilege to witness—

 

was the very unfortunate occurrence

of when a pregnant woman’s water

broke before the baby was viable—

before it could survive outside the womb.

 

For there to be any hope for a

positive outcome for the baby—

 

the mother is placed on medication

that makes her feel miserable.

She’s confined to a hospital bed

laying with her head tilted down.

 

And sometimes she has to lay

That way for weeks. . .  weeks.

 

But I’ve seen them do it. . . .

Anything—

Anything to keep their baby in the womb.

 

The fact that the Hebrew word

for “mercy” is derived from the

Hebrew word for “womb”

gives us great insight into the mercy of God.

 

God will do anything—

anything—

to keep us close—

to keep us protected and nourished and fed—

to keep us in the right environment where we

can develop into the people we were created to be.

 

And when the Apostles realized what it all meant. . .

 

what the Crucifixion meant—

what the Resurrection meant—

 

what great lengths God had gone through

to protect them from the things of

ultimate and definitive harm—

sin and death.

 

Then they really began to

understand the depths of God’s mercy. . .

 

Maybe they even got the connection

between the Hebrew word for “mercy”

the Hebrew word for “womb.”

 

Maybe they understood this connection

when they were told that as Jesus was dying on the Cross—

he pleaded for them to God the Father—

even making excuses for them. . . .

 

“Father, forgive them, for they not what they do.

Love and Mercy. . . .

Love and Mercy.

 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ. . .

 

During this crazy time we’re living in—

During this pandemic—

Just realize that in our closeness to God

how protected we are—

protected from the things

that can ultimately and definitively harm us—

 

And this protection extends way—way—

beyond our physical health. . .

way beyond this time and this space.

 

We just stay close to God—

Where we are loved—

Where we are nourished—

Where we are protected—

Where we continue to develop.

 

It’s so warm there.

 

Just waiting for the final day—

of conclusive and categorical re-birth. . . .

Born as a new creation—

Born into a world redeemed

by the love and mercy and God.

 

What insight into the mercy of God we get

When we know that the Hebrew word for “mercy”. . . .

 

is derived from the Hebrew word for “womb.”

 

Holy Spirit 04.19.20  (Lived streamed)