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I am involved in mankind

by davesandel on April 3rd, 2016

There are 42 days left in the 50 days of Easter, before Pentecost comes upon us. During these weeks, I’ll send a devotion each Sunday, but not during the week. Thank you for participating with me in these thoughts and prayers since Ash Wednesday. God bless you!

For all of today’s readings, click on today’s date at

I am involved in mankind

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Second Sunday of Easter

Sunday of Divine Mercy

John 20, Acts 5

Jesus breathed on his disciples and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

They carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

But this power is laid upon the foundation of love and mercy. Perhaps today in the West we see so few healings and seem so plagued by evil because we have forgotten that foundation.

Richard Rohr says, “Mercy refuses our capitalistic calculations, but most religion now offers no corrective to the culture.”

We’ve gotten into a very self-centered place, where we live unawares, settled into our personal “paper flesh.” Thomas Merton’s poem says, “Make ready for the Christ, whose smile like lightning sets free the song of everlasting glory that now sleeps in your paper flesh.”

Paper flesh not caught fire forgets two thousand years of Jesus’ teaching on compassion and mercy and settles for narcissism, self-protection and rage. Rohr speaks the obvious: “This is just way too small an agenda.”

Caught-fire-flesh weeps and bleeds for the immense suffering of the world. We are not separated and safe from that suffering as we might seem to be. The pictures on television flicker as we sit comfortably with food and drinks in easier chairs; but at night, remembering, we are stricken too. We are all one people. When one of us suffers we are all diminished.

John Donne was not writing poetry but a sermon for his congregation when he wrote, “I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”

For the sake of Jesus’ sorrowful passion, eternal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Your mercy is endless and your compassion an inexhaustible treasure. Increase your mercy in us and keep us from despair or despondency in the face of evil. Show us the way to submit with great confidence to your holy will, which is love and mercy itself.

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