Divine Mercy Sunday "Give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; his mercy endures forever." Psalm 136:1 “Before the day of justice I am sending you the day of mercy” (1588). “On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.”
On February 22, 1931 St. Faustina reports in her diary of a vision of Christ:” In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale.
The pale ray is water, cleansing, baptism. The red ray is Christ’s blood, life saving, Eucharist. In the image described by Saint Faustina, Jesus was depicted with his right hand raised in blessing to mankind, as if saying: “Peace be with you”, these are words we hear in the liturgy on the Sunday after Easter.
The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during His first public appearance: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so even I send you,’ and then He breathed on them, and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (Jn 20, 19-23).
The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer such as Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!
Geoffrey Williams wrote in “the path of contemplation” that we come to joy through paths of loss. We have to acknowledge losses. This is painful because we are acknowledging our brokenness. We need to hold the pain and name it as it really is. After this we let it go free and it becomes a door through which the mercy of God enters the world.
How fortunate the merciful for they will be shown mercy . This beatitude invites us to imitate God, the Merciful One. Mercy is to have a heart stirred that goes out toward another. In the Diary Jesus exclaims: “The flames of compassion burn me” (1190). God wants to fill every void and darkness of the human heart with joy and life. “I have come to bring life to the full,” said Jesus. Mercy seeks to restore each person to the image of God. More than once Jesus repeats: “I will deny nothing to any soul you will bring to the fount of my mercy (1209)…In the hour of mercy (3 oclock) I will refuse nothing to the soul (1320).
“The joy of the resurrection renews the whole world” (Easter Liturgy) and it occurs through the path of the cross. God’s path is our path so that we become the presence of God in our world. We become Eucharistic bread broken and shared; we are called to be Jesus way truth and life for our brothers and sisters. “The soul,” writes John of the Cross, “becomes divine, God through participation, insofar as it is possible in this life.”
Christ’s Message is Mercy: Pope Francis’ coat of arms reads: miserando atque eligendo. One in need of mercy he chose me or lowly and yet chosen. “This is Jesus' message: mercy, says Pope Francis. On my part, I say it with humility; this is the Lord's constant message: mercy.
“Think of the gossip after the call of Matthew: 'but that one keeps company with sinners!' And He has come for us, when we recognize that we are sinners. But if we are like the Pharisee before the altar—'Oh God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.'—then we do not know the Lord's heart and we will never have the joy of feeling this mercy! It is not easy to trust in God's mercy because it is an incomprehensible abyss . But we must do it!”
“ We do not hear words of contempt, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion .’Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more!' God's face is that of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God's patience, the patience that He has with each of us? That is His mercy.
Cardinal Kasper said that hearing the word mercy changes everything …. it changes the world. A bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand God's mercy well, this merciful Father who has such patience....
In the Diary of Sr. Faustina Jesus tells her: the soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sin and punishment (699). “When you approach the confessional know this, that I myself am waiting there for you…here the misery of souls meets the God of mercy” (1602).
Pope elect Francs tells us: "Only someone who has encountered mercy, who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy, is happy and comfortable with the Lord."
When we go to a public fountain, we can draw water from it as long as we have a vessel or container of some kind to put the water in. If our vessel is small, we can only bring back a little water; if it’s large, we can bring back a lot. And anyone with a vessel can draw water from the fountain. The water is there for us, and no one is excluded. All we need is a vessel.
In repeated revelations to St. Faustina, Our Divine Savior makes it clear that the fountain is His Heart, the water is His mercy, and the vessel is trust. “The graces of my Mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust” (1577).
St. Theresa glimpsed God’s merciful gaze shining in the face of Jesus. Just one gaze of love from God transforms us. The meeting of our gaze with that of God takes place during our prayer. As we pray we turn to God in friendship, believing in God’s presence and desiring and loving God. Even in apparent darkness God is taking us to Himself to make us like Him. We look on him whom we have pierced, said the Prophet Zachariah.
In his encyclical Rich in Mercy , Pope John Paul II teaches that hesed contains the meaning of faithfulness to oneself, to one's own promises and commitments to others. The second most common word for God's mercy in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word rachamim : tender, compassionate love, a love that springs from pity.
Rachamim comes from a root word rechem , which means a mother's womb. Thus, there is a special intimacy and responsiveness about this kind of love, and a special concern for the sufferings of others. Hesed is, in a sense, a masculine form of love (steadfast, dependable, righteous, being true to oneself and to one's promises), while rachamim is more feminine (tender, responsive, compassionate, like a mother responding in love to the sufferings of her child)
According to the ancient Fathers of the Church, the Church herself was born from the wounded side of Christ, when out of His heart there poured out blood and water, symbolic of all the graces of the two chief Sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist (Jn 19:34). In short, eleos is God's love poured out upon His people. The meaning of the Latin word misericordia is "having a pain in your heart for the pains of others, and taking pains to do something about their pain."
In Faustina’s Diary Jesus tells us to ask his mother for help to embrace the mystery of Mercy. God’s heart was attracted to Mary. Because she offered a heart that was humble, poor and abounding in trust. She was absolutely free to welcome the Word. God is attracted to the lowly, the weak, and the brokenhearted – because of God’s love. Mary carried Divine Mercy in her womb. Blessed James Alberione, reminds us that “Mary always presents Jesus. She presented him to the shepherds, the magi, in the temple, at the wedding at Cana where he worked his first miracle and his disciples believed in him. She showed him crucified, the salvation of the whole world, on Calvary, where hell trembled because it was defeated. Mary showed him to the Father and presented him on the day of Ascension with his glorious wounds and open side from which came forth two rays of love for God and for souls.”
We too may find ourselves at the foot of the cross, participating in Jesus’ mission of redeeming love. We unite our pain to Christ and love as Mary loved with the words upon our lips “Jesus I trust in you.” The cross is transformed from death into life. At the cross we surrender. It has become the open door of Mercy flowing. Mary’s heart was also pierced as foretold by Simeon. When she saw her son’s side pierced her compassion grew to include all of us. She is Mother of Divine Grace and Mother of Divine Mercy. We are called to this same mission.
The point Jesus makes in the gospels is that there are things that should take a much higher priority in our lives such as mercy. In return for his mercy he asks for our misery! “Give me your misery because it is your exclusive property (1318).
“ In one moment I can give you more than you are able to desire,” Jesus promises us through Sr. Faustina. (1169) All God asks of us is to trust: “The first act of trust is to receive God’s mercy (723). The greater the sinner the greater the right to my mercy, he who is rich in mercy tells us. Jesus repeats as a lover who bears his heart: “My mercy was open wide on the cross. I have opened my heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust” (1182, 1520).
The book He and I Jesus speaks to another woman Gabrielle Bossis, a nurse, and a playwright who lived in France in the early twentieth century. Gabrielle documented her intimate conversations with Jesus. After her death her journals were made public. Here are Jesus’ words to her on April 17, 1947: “ The unfolding of My love in you is My personal happiness; I’m waiting for it. Everything that affects you touches Me personally. My friend, you are part of Me and I, your Christ, am part of you.” We discover that all Jesus is asking for is desire, which he defines simply as focusing our eyes on him no matter what we are doing. He teaches us how to be happy in quite simple ways: “Practice being more attractive for love’s sake. You could do immense good with an affectionate look and a smile…. If you go to meet people with delicate thoughtfulness, you bring peace and rest.”
Mother Teresa wrote that whenever you do open the door of your heart you will hear Jesus say to you again and again, “not in mere human words but in spirit: no matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and your needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to me for I thirst for you.”
How can we open our hearts as a living our response to God’s love in devotion to Divine Mercy? Our response is a covenant devotion to Divine Mercy. Our devotion to the sacraments, especially Eucharist and Penance, will grow as we live out a life of commitment to become a living chaplet, Eucharistic bread broken and shared with our brothers and sisters, a living image of Divine Mercy (163).
Christ promised that those who venerate the Image would achieve great progress along the road to holiness gaining victory in this life over the enemies of the soul and enemies of salvation. He promised a happy and holy death with the assurance that He personally would defend them as His glory at the hour of their death. Christ promised that those who venerate the Image would achieve great progress along the road to holiness gaining victory in this life over the enemies of the soul and enemies of salvation. He promised a happy and holy death with the assurance that He personally would defend them as His glory at the hour of their death.
, "By this Novena (of Chaplets), I will grant every possible grace to souls." Jesus said “Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this Chaplet. Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize my unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of my mercy; let them profit from the blood and water which gushed forth for them" (Diary, 848). Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death.
How amazed you will be when you see me in my glory! Jesus tells us. The rays of his glory, the rays of mercy will pass through us, just as they have passed through the host and go out through the entire world (441). “Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of my Mercy. I want to give myself to souls, I yearn for souls…On the day of my feast, the feast of Mercy, and you will go though the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of my Mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them” (206).
Divine Mercy Reflection Jesus I trustin you. Divine Mercy Sunday 2013 For personal use only. Text compiled by Sr. Margaret Kerry, fsp Photos copyright protected.
Divine Mercy ReflectionPrepared bySr. Margaret Kerry, fsp For personal use only. Text is original with quotations from various authors and the Diary of St. Faustina. Pope Francis quotes are from his homily at the Vatican’s Santa Anna chruch on March 17, 2013 and his first Angelus Message Photos are from the Internet and may be copyright email@example.com
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