These are words sung at the Great Easter Vigil, which proclaim our hope in the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ. On this Octave of Easter, this Divine Mercy Sunday, we remember the extraordinary love God has for us in his Son.
Let me start of by saying something about pelicans. They are majestic creatures with long beaks and I have always wondered why they were depicted on stained glass windows in Catholic Churches. I did a little digging and found an answer.
The mother pelican searches for food for her young pelicans and if she fails to do so, she uses her long beak and strikes her breast and feeds them with her very flesh! Love that comes from the breast. Now, we have to take a look at Jesus and find a striking resemblance.
We read in John 19:34 that the soldiers pierced our Lord’s side and out gushed forth blood and water.
It’s love found at the heart of Jesus, literally! Water for our baptism, blood for our share in the Eucharist. He has adopted us into his family and prepared a meal for us that we will share for all eternity in heaven. This is where the scriptures speak an eternal truth. In John’s Gospel, our Lord clearly states that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have life in him and our Lord will raise him on the last day (John 6:54).
This past weekend, I was deeply blessed to place my ears before Jesus’ chest and listen to his heart. We attended the Freely Given Conference in Davis where young adults throughout the Diocese of Sacramento gathered to listen to dynamic speakers about the mercy of God. God isn’t some theory out in the cosmos. He’s enfleshed, personal, and the encounter with real dynamic love. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says it best in Deus Caritas Est, “We have come to believe in God’s love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” Indeed, we are filled with gratitude for that happy fault that gained for us so great a redeemer, God who has revealed himself in Jesus.