“But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.” John 20:31
We thank Saint Pope John Paul II for reminding us today of God’s love for all people—no matter their station, no matter their sins.
This is Divine Mercy Sunday, a celebration begun by our beloved Pope in 2000. On the Sunday after Easter that year he canonized Blessed Faustina Kowalska, a devoted religious, designating the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. Mindful of St. Faustina’s gift to the Church at Easter, our Holy Father proclaimed:
“Jesus said to St. Faustina one day, ‘Humanity will never find peace until
it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.’ Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift
that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.”
What our Holy Father is saying is that personal transformation—the passage into new life that we celebrated at Easter—is only possible because of God’s mercy. Each time we witness mercy, we transform ourselves in God’s image and offer the gift of new life to the world. We become creators in a worldly way and in a spiritual way, too.
God’s mercy opens the door to a deeper practice of our faith, never failing to forgive and transform. So, think of mercy as your starting point. Know that mercy is God’s personal gift to you. Then share the bounty. Reach out to all of Creation, to everyone you encounter, and offer them the example of transformation that God has called you to be. Mercy is a chance to heal divisions, overcome the hurts, set aside the misunderstandings, and start over. With God’s blessing.
Friend, accept God’s divine mercy as the gift that that never stops giving back. The more we practice being merciful, the more complete we become, and the stronger we are for the journey home. Think big, practice small… an act of mercy a day. More when you can. I know God will bless and reward you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Divine Mercy Sunday
Pour out Your mercy upon me,
O divine Savior and Lord
who from the cross blessed the world
with salvation and grace.
Wash away my sins and cleanse me
from all transgressions against
Your most Sacred Heart.
More than water covers the earth
let Your mercy cover the world
freeing the captive, healing the
broken-hearted, and lifting
up the downtrodden.
You who prayed to the Father
to forgive Your executioners
help me to let go of past grievances
and turn over to You any thoughts
of vengeance or retribution
that I might worthily walk in Your ways.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso