Consider This... Divine Mercy Sunday

Happy Easter!  Let us not grow tired of saying this.  The new life of the resurrection was not exhausted and all used up on that Easter morning but continues to unfold all around us.  It is just as much Easter for us now as it was then.  The best part about this is that God’s merciful love continues towards us even to this day.  I hope that all of us can recognize God’s mercy in the context of our own lives, but if you are unsure about this, simply start by counting your blessings.  Miracles don’t always have to be big to be signs and wonders of God’s love.  Who has shown us mercy whether it was the forgiveness or some generous gift or an opportunity gracious shared with us?  What are the many signs and wonders that are not recorded in the Scriptures that are happening in our lives?  And finally, whereas justice is fulfilling, we know that mercy is transformative – in what ways have we been transformed by our experiences? 

Owing to St. Faustina’s experience of Jesus’ grace and her divinely granted vision of the image of His Divine Mercy (which is on display in our Church and Chapel and Reconciliation Room), today is Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the world.  This presents for us a wonderful opportunity for us to not only contemplate God’s merciful love towards us, but to pray out of that as well.  Consider praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet today, either by yourself or with the community, especially as it is prayed before all the Masses of this weekend as well as the service held at 3pm in the Church.  Moreover, the Divine Mercy chaplet is prayed after weekday Mass.  And the invitation is open as well to come to the sacrament of Reconciliation to experience that mercy of God for yourself for the circumstances of your life. 

But let’s not stop there.  As Jesus did for the apostles, so too does he breathe on us today and give us the gift of his spirit, sending us forth to forgive sins and be messengers of mercy in the world.  Jesus tells us, “be merciful just as your heavenly Father is merciful.”  A refresher is below as to the Church’s Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

The Corporal Works of Mercy are:  To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked; To shelter the homeless; To visit the sick; To visit the imprisoned; To bury the dead.  ---- Perhaps a couple of practical suggestions: you can support or volunteer at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy or Catholic Charities which helps provide food and clothing for those in need.  Little Portion Friary and City Mission are places where the homeless can find shelter and are given the opportunity to get back on their feet.  Perhaps, you know someone who is hospitalized or in a nursing home or is imprisoned – let them know that they aren’t alone.  Send them a card or better yet visit with them.  Lastly, we’ve all struggled with the death of a family member – reach out in compassion to those coping with the death of a loved one.  

And the Spiritual Works of Mercy are: To instruct the ignorant; To counsel the doubtful; To admonish sinners; To bear wrongs patiently; To forgive offences willingly; To comfort the afflicted; To pray for the living and the dead ---- We might want to ask ourselves: are we willing to share the good news of what God has done for us, leading others into faith?  Perhaps, I could start with my family?  What is our fundamental attitude toward others, even strangers?  Do we hold any prejudices?  In what ways can I move from hostility to hospitality?  Are we imitators of God’s mercy, even towards those who hurt us or make us angry?  Whom do I still need to forgive?  Are we people of compassion?  What or whom do we pray for?  


~Fr. Luke