Sunday, April 23, 2006
Celebrating Mercy  

Today, the second Sunday in Easter, by a decree issued in 2000 by John Paul the Great, the Church celebrates the Feast of Divine Mercy. Because it is a new feast and the message of Divine Mercy is only slowly permeating local parishes, there are many places that do not proclaim the nature of this feast day. It is very unfortunate because it really is a feast to remind us of who God is and the way He relates to us. He comes to us to give us mercy in order that we may no longer be slaves to ours sins.

The origin of the feast can be traced to the private revelations which the Polish nun St. Maria Faustina Kowalska received during the 1930s. In several places in her diary, which she wrote under obedience to her spiritual director, she records Jesus' words to her concerning the nature of the Feast of Divine Mercy:
Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)
What is revealed here is really quite beautiful. It is not a new message, because it has been the consistent message of the Church that God's infinite mercy is extended to all who will receive it. Instead, it is a fresh reminder and celebration of this wonderful truth that God's mercy is greater than any person's sin, indeed it is greater than all of the sins ever committed.

It is also a wonderful reminder to us that this is the essence of God's love for us and the basis for Christianity. God is reaching out to everyone He has created in His mercy in order to offer His mercy to us because we have gone astray. All of salvation history is God seeking His lost sheep in order to offer them the free gift of mercy and pardon for sins. Today is no different. He extends the same free gift. We simply have to trust in Him.


Posted by David at 8:13 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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