As we have come to Low Sunday, Dominica in albis, I reviewed something of what Fathers of the Church had to say about our Gospel passage on this famous Sunday: John 20:19-31.
Pope St. Gregory the Great (+604) preached on this very passage in the Basilica of St. John Lateran on the 1st Sunday after Easter. Here is the very end of his sermon, which sheds a different, and I think needed, light on the theme of “divine mercy”.
Thus Gregory the Great:
Consider again, beloved brethren, this important truth, and carefully endeavour to be preserved from the eternal perdition. These Easter-days are celebrated with great pomp and magnificence; yet our duty is to make ourselves worthy of arriving at the eternal Festivals. You endeavour to be present at these feastdays, which pass and disappear; try, then, your utmost to be one day present, all together, at the never-ending celebration in heaven. What would it profit you to assist at our festivals now, were you never to be admitted to the festivities of the angels in heaven? Our present feast-days are only the shadow of those we are expecting, and, though year after year we are celebrating them, we are longing for those never-ending days in the kingdom of God. Renew in your hearts the desire of the eternal festivities by the celebration of the annual earthly festivals. Let the happiness granted to us in the present time penetrate us in such a way that we continue sighing for the eternal happiness prepared for us in heaven, and ardently desired by us on earth. Prepare yourselves for that eternal rest by amending your lives and practising virtue and holiness. Never forget that He Who in His Resurrection was meekness itself, will be terrible when coming to judge the world. On this awful day He will appear surrounded by Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Principalities and Powers. On that day heaven and earth and all the elements, being the ministers of His wrath, will be in a general conflagration. May this terrible Judge be ever present to the eyes of your mind, that, penetrated by a salutary fear of His severe judgment, that is to be held, you may confidently expect His corning. Let us fear now, that we may be without fear then, and this fear will help us to avoid sin and work out our salvation. For I tell you that the more we are now afraid to rouse the anger of our Judge against us, the greater will be our confidence when we appear before Him at the end of the world.
First, GO TO CONFESSION.
Also, let us strive in our liturgical celebrations both to anticipate the beauty of the heavenly liturgy before the throne of God, and also to encounter within those sacred mysteries the mystery which is the remedy for our fear of death.
If our liturgical worship does not prepare us truly for the moment in which we come to the Judge, then our liturgical worship has not provided what we truly need.
Lastly, GO TO CONFESSION.