Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for April 19, 2020

Reflection for April 19, 2020

Missing the presence of the Lord

Thomas' doubt might be more relatable during these months of no Mass

by Sister Rose Jochmann

On this Second Sunday of Easter we continue our celebration of Easter. We hear the familiar Gospel about Thomas who will not believe that Jesus has risen until he can “see the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands" (John 20:25). We, too, are asked to believe in the Risen Lord without seeing him. Our faith is certainly being tested these days of “Safer at Home”. We are asked to place our trust in Christ in the Eucharist when we cannot physically attend Mass and receive Eucharist. (See "Spiritual Communion" below.) More than ever, we trust in the words of Jesus, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).

Twenty years ago, Pope John Paul II designated the Second Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. He did so on the day the Polish nun, Saint Faustina Kowalska, was canonized. The image that represents Divine Mercy comes from the devotion initiated by Saint Faustina. In the Divine Mercy image, Jesus is depicted as the risen and glorious Lord. According to Saint Faustina, “the two rays from the heart of Jesus represent the blood and the water.” The blood recalls Christ’s passion. The water represents our Baptism. Both symbols are very appropriate for this Easter season.

As we continue to live under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we plead for mercy: Mercy for those afflicted with the virus, mercy and safety for health care workers and first responders, mercy for those who have died. Let this be our prayer today, “My Jesus, mercy!”

Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Saint Thomas Aquinas defined “spiritual communion” as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.  Saint Teresa of Avila wrote, “When you cannot receive Communion and cannot attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.”

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, 
I believe that You  are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. 
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. 
Since I cannot at this moment  receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


04/17/2020 5:58 am

+ Mercy saves +


Fr. Bill Jacobs
04/17/2020 7:20 am

Beautifully done, Sister!

Your words are special and encouraging during these somewhat lonely times.

Bless you and all the good Sisters. May we soon see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In Christ's Never-ending Love, Father Bill

Tom Hartman
04/17/2020 8:08 am

Very meaningful reflection that connects the experience of Thomas in this Sunday's Gospel with our own experiences with the realities of this pandemic, social distance from our brothers and sisters in our faith community, and spiritual distance from the Eucharist. Thanks for the prayer, "An Act of Spiritual Communion".

This is certainly a time to "walk by faith and not by sight."

Irene Whatley
04/17/2020 8:40 am

I feel the Spiritual Communion comforting, esp in these times. For an unknown reason I have always been drawn to this Gospel. I hope it isn’t an unconscious fear of doubt.

Cheryl Mader
04/17/2020 9:29 am

Thank you Sr.

04/17/2020 9:41 am

We are never really separated, we are One in union with our Lord. Thank you, Sr. Rose, for reminding us.

04/17/2020 10:45 am

Thanks, Rose. You skillfully wove the Gospel, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Spiritual Communion prayer and the pandemic into a beautiful fabric for reflection. Much appreciated.

Paul Fischer
04/18/2020 1:12 pm

Sister Rose...….Boy, your comments really hit home today, as we look for Mercy, and knowing the Lord is here

for us in today's pandemic climate.... Thanks.

Sr. Elise
04/18/2020 2:33 pm

Thank you, Sr. Rose. You developed the themes of this Sunday very well. I have a wonderful memory of being at the Divine Mercy shrine in Poland several years ago.

Julie Tydrich
04/19/2020 12:00 pm

Yayyyy, Sr. Rose,

Lovely reflection, very needed in this quarantine season!

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