“Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3
Easter and divine mercy… these are sacred partners in the practice of our faith, and this time of crisis is a moment to recall the power of both gifts in our lives.
Easter is God’s promise that through the Cross we are inheritors of the Kingdom—if we share Christ’s mercy with the world. That’s the plan! So today, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, an observance started by St. Pope John Paul II who often preached about mercy at Easter time. That’s because of his spiritual closeness with Faustina Kowalska, a Catholic nun and mystic, whom he declared a saint of the Church in 2000.
During her brief lifetime, Faustina received revelations from Our Lord who asked her to record her experiences. Known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, this is the saint’s message that touches me the most: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.”
Today, in her honor and with St. Faustina as our model, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, knowing that God’s mercy and forgiveness are beyond our imagination. Beyond understanding. But not beyond imitating in our own human way. A good meditation on mercy is to recall a time someone forgave you for a pain that you caused. Do you remember how it felt to be forgiven? God’s mercy is all that—multiplied infinitely. There is always a path to forgiveness no matter what we have done or failed to do. That path begins with mercy and finds its fulfillment in the Resurrection of Our Lord.
Friend, the next time Jesus is at your door, let him in, knowing that you are also welcoming mercy into your life. Accept the gift. Then pass it on and experience your own Resurrection.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for Divine Mercy Sunday
O blessed torrent of Divine Mercy
flowing from the most Sacred Heart
of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen,
flood my soul with refreshing grace,
wash me from all stain of sin,
cleanse me of my unknown faults, and
heal me from past wounds and painful memories!
Transform my life by Your Cross and Resurrection
that God’s image in me might be restored.
Bear me up from this valley of tears
to soar on eagle’s wings among Your saints.
Help me be merciful to others, Lord,
as You have been merciful to me.
From Your throne of grace and mercy
look down on us, poor sinners,
take pity on our lowliness and
be our comfort and consolation.
You who gave up the Glory of Heaven
to dwell among us here on earth
lead us home to You.
Prayer by Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.