VATICAN CITY, APR 3, 2005 (VIS) - At the end of the Mass this morning in St. Peter's Square for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II, presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the substitute of the Secretariat of State, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, before reciting the Easter time prayer, the Regina Coeli, read a text that the Holy Father had previously prepared for the occasion of the solemnity of Divine Mercy which is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter.
In that text, John Paul II highlighted today's celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, underlining the Gospel story where the Risen Christ appeared to the Apostles "'and showed them His hands and His side', that is, the signs of the painful passion impressed in an indelible way on His body even after the Resurrection. Those glorious wounds, that He made an incredulous Thomas touch eight days later, reveal God's mercy Who 'so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son'."
"To all of mankind," continued the text, "who so often seems lost and dominated by the power of evil, egoism and fear, the Risen Lord offers as a gift His love which pardons, reconciles and opens the soul again to hope. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How the world needs to understand and welcome Divine Mercy!
"Lord, Who with Your death and Resurrection revealed the Father's love, we believe in You and with trust we repeat today: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy on us and on the entire world."
"May the liturgical solemnity of the Annunciation, which we will celebrate tomorrow," the Holy Father's reflections concluded, "encourage us to contemplate with the eyes of Mary the immense mystery of this merciful love that bursts forth from the heart of Christ."
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