"The Feast of Divine Mercy"

Low Sunday 24 April 2022

Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed. Jn. 20: 29

The words of John’s Gospel (Jn. 20: 19-31) are very appropriate for today’s feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus commended those who had not seen and yet believed. (cf. Jn. 20:29) We have to trust in the words of Jesus both in the gospel and in His words to St. Faustina. Jesus continually spoke of mercy during His earthly life. He went so far, as we see in today’s Gospel, to ordain His apostles and their successors to forgive sins; Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Jn. 20:22-23. The sacrament of Reconciliation is essential to our salvation, yet there are many who reject this principle of the Catholic Faith. St. John in today’s Epistle (I Jn. 5:4-10) tells us how necessary it is for us to believe in Jesus Christ if we wish to save our souls: “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I Jn. 5: 5) Only with Jesus Christ can we overcome the evils in the world. This is why Jesus brought the messages of “Divine Mercy” to St. Faustina in Poland just before World War II. “Divine Mercy” is a critical message for our dark and destructive times. It is now more important than ever as the era of mercy may soon end, and the time of judgment will arrive with Jesus’s Second Coming. The Mother of God told St. Faustina: “Oh how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspiration of His grace! I gave the Saviour to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Saviour, but as a just judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it...” (Diary of Divine Mercy # 635 DDM)

Rich in Mercy

Saint John Paul II gave us the feast of Divine Mercy and wrote much about the need to go to the fount of mercy by reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy: “At no time… especially at a moment as critical as our own can the Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God…The Church has the right and duty to appeal to the God of Mercy with ‘loud cries’. (Rich in Mercy, #15) Our Blessed Lord told St. Faustina that He cannot refuse a soul who begs for mercy: “Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight me. To such souls I grant even more, more than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion.” (DDM #1146) Jesus tells us to “Beg for mercy for the whole world.” (DDM #570) “No soul that has called upon My mercy has ever been disappointed.” (DDM #1541) But on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy.” (DDM #1146)

Channels of Grace

Souls who come to Jesus with trust receive such an abundance of grace that they radiate it to others. Jesus told St. Faustina: “When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to others.” (DDM #1074) How is this done? “You are to show mercy to your neighbour always and everywhere...(DDM #742)

Mystery of Divine Grace

Sanctifying grace is one of the most important doctrines of our faith. To be ignorant of divine grace is to be ignorant of the Catholic faith. At the Last Supper, Jesus told us, “I am the vine you are the branches; he that abideth in me beareth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5 We can only grow in holiness and bear much fruit with the grace of God. We received this sanctifying grace at our baptism when we were made children of God, heirs of heaven and sharers in God’s divine nature. We were also called to be spouses of Christ, an identity that is our eternal destiny in heaven. Grace is nothing else than sharing in God’s love. In fact, another name for sanctifying grace is love. “God is love.” I Jn. 4:17 Jesus told St. Faustina: “I desire to unite Myself with human souls; My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, my daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat Me as a dead object....” DDM #1447 How blessed we are to go to confession and receive Holy Communion and gain so many graces on this Feast of Divine Mercy!

The Hour of Divine Mercy

Jesus asked St. Faustina to promote the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which should be said frequently especially at the hour of Divine Mercy, 3:00 P.M. He promised: “In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking: it is the hour of grace for the whole world—mercy triumphs over justice.” (DDM #1572). He also promised, “In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion.” (DDM #1320). “For the sake of His sorrowful passion have mercy on me and on the whole world.” (Divine Mercy Chaplet)

Image of Mercy

Jesus said, “Not in the beauty of the colour, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace.” (DDM #313) “The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous (Baptism). The red stands for blood which is the life of souls… These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when my agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him…(DDM #299)

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