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Front of Sacred Hearth Catholic Church in Conroe, TX

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The Tremendous Gift of Divine Mercy

Post Date: April 23, 2022
Author: Laura Stephens

On the second Sunday of Easter, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday as requested by Jesus through the visions He gave to St. Faustina Kowalska, a humble Polish sister, in the 1930’s. Jesus revealed to her the depth of His mercy and His desire to spread this knowledge to the whole world. It is within St. Faustina’s Diary of a Soul that we can learn the amazing love and mercy of Jesus for us!

As we prepare to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, let us take time to consider how this message is just as imperative to us now as it was in St. Faustina’s time. I will use quotes from the Homily of Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization Mass of Sr. Mary Faustina Kowalska on Sunday, April 30, 2000, to aid in our reflection.

Welcome the Risen Christ

However, as the Apostles once did, today too humanity must welcome into the upper room of history the risen Christ, who shows the wounds of his Crucifixion and repeats:  Peace be with you! Humanity must let itself be touched and pervaded by the Spirit given to it by the risen Christ. It is the Spirit who heals the wounds of the heart, pulls down the barriers that separate us from God and divide us from one another, and at the same time, restores the joy of the Father’s love and of fraternal unity.

It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”. (Homily)

Reflecting on Divine Mercy is essential to welcoming the Risen Christ into our hearts. We must understand that His sacrifice is meant for us personally for we all need spiritual healing. We must welcome the Risen Jesus into our souls so that we can be restored in our relationship with God.

Accept the Heart of Christ

Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified:  “My daughter, say that I am love and mercy personified”, Jesus will ask Sr Faustina (Diary, p. 374). (Homily)

Divine Mercy is the extending of the love of Jesus to us who are not worthy. Mercy is when we are given something that we do not deserve. We all have fallen short of the glory and holiness that God asks of us. The sacrifice of Jesus’ life, whereby He took upon Himself our sins, is not something we deserve. It is an ultimate act of divine favor and compassion. Jesus truly showed us what LOVE is and what true love costs. Accept His love which is shown through His Sacred Heart and the revealing of His Divine Mercy and allow Him to transform us.

Divine Mercy is Crucial

Jesus told Sr Faustina:  “Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy” (Diary, p. 132). (Homily)

We cannot individually restore ourselves let alone the broken world. Even if we spent all the days of our lives doing all that we could for others, we could never do enough. We must do all that we can but daily rely on and trust the mercy of Jesus. His mercy is abundantly given for our souls, for the souls of those who have wronged us, and for the souls of those who bring pain upon the world. Let us allow our Savior to save our souls and restore peace in our hearts. He will unquestionably guide us and call us home to Eternal Peace.

Look upon the Image of Divine Mercy

Jesus instructed St. Faustina to have an image made of His mercy to be something visible and more accessible to all. St. Faustina obediently found a painter who worked tirelessly to portray the image she had received. The image shown above of Divine Mercy is such a beautiful expression of the love and trust of Jesus. It shows us the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross to give everything for us.

“The two rays”, Jesus himself explained to her one day, “represent blood and water” (Diary, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 132). (Homily)

Let us look upon it and receive the mercy of Jesus. Allow ourselves to proclaim from the depths of our hearts the words on the image – Jesus, I Trust in You! 

The Personal Call of Divine Mercy

It is not easy to love with a deep love, which lies in the authentic gift of self. This love can only be learned by penetrating the mystery of God’s love. Looking at him, being one with his fatherly heart, we are able to look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters, with an attitude of unselfishness and solidarity, of generosity and forgiveness. All this is mercy! (Homily)

Mercy is not just something that we can exclusively receive without it changing us radically. Mercy requires us to be an extension of the mercy we receive. This mandates that we share mercy with one another, for we are not any more worthy of the mercy of Jesus than the person standing next to us, across the street or around the world. Let us show mercy the way we want to receive the incredible Mercy of Jesus Christ!

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Jesus, I trust in You!

References:

Homily of Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization Mass of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska retrieved from https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/homilies/2000/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20000430_faustina.html

Author: Laura Stephens, FF Sacrament Preparation Catechist

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