“What does Jesus do in the face of this… lack of belief? He returns and, standing in the same place, ”in the midst of his disciples, he repeats his greeting: ‘Peace be with you/’ (Jn. 20, 19, 26). He starts all over. The resurrection of his disciple begins here, from this faithful and patient mercy, from the discovery that God never tires of reaching out to lift us up when we fall. He wants us to see him, not as a taskmaster with whom we have to settle accounts, but as our Father who always raises us up. In life we go forward tentatively, uncertainly, like a toddler who takes a few steps and falls; a few steps more and falls again, yet each time his father puts him back on his feet. The hand that always puts back on our feet is mercy; God knows that without mercy we will remain on the ground, that in order to keep walking, we need to be put back on our feet.
You may object: ‘But I keep falling!’ The Lord knows this and he is always ready to raise you up. He does not want us to keep thinking about our failings; rather, he wants us to look to him. For when we fall, he sees children needing to be put back on their feet; in our failings he sees children in need of his merciful love. Today, in this church that has become a shrine of mercy in Rome, and on this Sunday that Saint John Paul II dedicated to Divine Mercy twenty years ago, we confidently welcome this message. Jesus said to Saint Faustina: ‘I am love and mercy itself; there is no human misery that could measure up to my mercy… At one time, the Saint, with satisfaction, told Jesus that she had offered him all of her life and all that she had. But Jesus answer stunned her:’ You have not offered me the thing that is truly yours. What had that holy nun kept for herself? Jesus said to her with kindness: ‘My daughter, give me you failings.'”(October 10, 1937),