Katie (Ferrara) Beers ’16

What do you do when it seems like God doesn’t answer your prayers? I find myself asking this question after a beloved family member’s recent, tragic death.

I truly believed that God would answer my prayers for physical healing, so I imagine I feel similarly to how the disciples must have felt in the first verses of today’s gospel passage. They truly believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and then here they are left mourning his death with the fear of their subsequent persecution.

I have a new appreciation for the fear of the disciples locked in this house. Did they wonder: Where is God in this? What are we supposed to do now? How do we move forward? I think the disciples were wrestling with these questions, just as I am.

Jesus asked the church through St. Faustina to institute today’s feast day, Divine Mercy Sunday, for all of those facing sin and despair. Sin and despair. We know what God’s mercy looks like in times of sin: forgiveness. But how does God’s mercy come to us in our despair?

I think this mercy looks a lot like the words, “Peace be with you,” that Jesus greeted the disciples with in today’s gospel. He doesn’t come with answers; he doesn’t come with explanations. He comes to give peace and, in that peace, mercy to the disciples.

I believe that Jesus enters my time of deep grief and fear and offers me the same peace. In turn, I step out in faith—albeit begrudgingly and doubtfully at times. Although it is not easy and takes time to heal, I cannot imagine greater mercy to my despairing heart than peace—peace that comes from knowing that Jesus comes to me and stays with me in my time of despair, bringing with him the hope of the resurrection.