One night in 1935, Fiorello H. La Guardia, Mayor of New York City, showed up at Night Court in the poorest ward of the city. He dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench. One case involved an elderly woman who was caught stealing bread to feed her grandchildren. La Guardia said, "I've got to punish you. Ten dollars or ten days in jail." As he spoke, he threw $10 into his hat. He then fined everyone in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where an old woman had to steal bread so that her grandchildren should not starve." The hat was passed around, and the woman left the courtroom with her fine paid and an additional $47.50
The second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. In the second part of today’s Gospel, we see doubting Thomas. In the first part, Jesus said to his disciples, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." Jesus empowered his disciples to become the vehicle of his mercy.
God sends people to remind us of his mercy. St. Faustina wrote in her dairy, “God Said to me, in the old covenant I sent prophets willingly thunderbolts of my people. Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching human kind, I desire to heal it…”
St. John Paul II has a great role in spreading the message of Divine Mercy. On the 30th of April, 2000, the Second Sunday of Easter, St. Pope John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist in Saint Peter’s Square and proceeded to the canonization of Blessed Sister Faustina.
There are two parts to the message of Divine Mercy: devotion and being merciful. Marion Fathers came up with the acronym for the Divine Mercy celebration: FINCH and ABC. FINCH: F-Feast of Divine Mercy, I-image of Divine Mercy, N-novena of Divine Mercy, C-chaplet of Divine Mercy, H-hour of Divine Mercy.
What is ABC? A - Ask for God’s Mercy. B - Be merciful. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. C - Completely trust in Jesus.
Magnificat, prayer book, quote for the reading of the day from St. Faustina’s dairy. She prays, “O Lord, I want to be completely transformed into your mercy, and to be your living reflection…
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearance, but look for what is beautiful in neighbors' souls and come to their rescue.
Help me O Lord, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbor’s needs and not indifferent to their pains and moaning’s.
Help me O Lord that my tongue may be merciful so that I should never speak negatively of neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness to all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the most difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, O Lord, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness…
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful, so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor… May your mercy, O Lord, rest upon us.”
Pope Francis continues to emphasize the message of Mercy. During the year of mercy, Pope Francis said in one of his homilies, “Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is a journey that begins with a spiritual conversion.”
The message of The Divine Mercy is simple: God loves us – all of us. The Divine Mercy devotion should lead us to share that mercy with one another. Remember: A - Ask for His Mercy. B - Be merciful. C - Completely trust in Jesus.