Divine Mercy Sunday
Divine Mercy Sunday reminds us again God is love and merciful. He continues to pour out his mercy in the world through the new Israel, the Church. In a dream, St. Theresa of Lisieux told St. Faustina "Yes, you will be a saint just as I am, but you must trust in the Lord Jesus" (Diary of St. Faustina, 150). And also told her that she will be an apostle of Divine Mercy, to trust in Jesus and she will become a saint. Later St. Faustina wrote in her diary, “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 humankind, I desire to heal it...”
Pope St. John Paul II declared that the second Sunday, the octave day of Easter, should be Divine Mercy Sunday. 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. St. Faustina invites us by the witness of her life to keep our faith and hope fixed on God, the Father, rich in mercy, who has saved us by the precious blood of His Son.
Pope Francis continues to spread 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.”
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.
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles says “Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles.” We see this expression which says that God works through the prophets and apostles. We read in the book of Exodus, God did many signs and wonders through Moses (Exodus 7:3; 11:10; Deuteronomy 6:22; 26:8). Even today, God continues to do signs and wonders among us. The second reading from the book of Revelation, John explains a vision. In the vision, there were seven lampstands, which symbolizes the prayers of the seven churches in Asia Minor, present day Turkey. The lampstand and vestment set stage for Christ, the Eternal High Priest. The seven stars are the angels who watch over seven churches. John’s vision was of Christ “One like a son of man.” Jesus passed over death and brought victory who has the power to lock and unlock the underworld.
In the Gospel of John, 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." We read in the Book of Genesis 2:7, God breathed on the first man and gave him life. We see other passages in the Old Testament about the breath of God. In Ezekiel 37:9, where God raises an army of corpses to new life by the breath of the Spirit. In the first book of Kings (17:21), we see Elijah revive the dead son of the widow of Zarephath. After the resurrection, Jesus breathed on the disciples and gave them new life: spiritual life. A week later Jesus appeared to them and Thomas proclaimed the faith, “My Lord and My God.” Apostles experience God’s mercy and proclaim it in a loud voice. 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 diary, “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 humankind, I desire to heal it… ”On Sunday, April 24th at 2:30 p.m. our cluster will have Divine Mercy Sunday service at Immaculate Conception. It includes Adoration, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Benediction and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available. Please come and join. Thank you.
Thank you to everyone who sent a card, gift, gave the goodies, called and so on on my birthday. Thank you for thinking of me and taking time to make the day special. Thank you!