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Friday, April 29, 2011

Divine Mercy

Pope John Paul II established the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. The Divine Mercy, of course, is the unconditional love of God seen from the point of view of the sinner.  It is the fidelity of the love of God. This is the Good News of the Gospel. Jesus said that he came not for the just, but for the sinner. He ate and drank with sinners. He forgave sins and delegated that same power to his apostles. He taught the parables of the lost coin, the Good Shepherd, and the prodigal son, all of which tell us that the Divine Mercy is not “the pardon of a judge, but the embrace of one who loves.” The first Christians knew and experienced the fidelity of the love of God, the unconditional love, the divine mercy. Their lives were filled with peace, love and joy. They rejoiced at having been found worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus. But human nature being what it is, over the centuries Christians began to forget this love of God.

Jesus who wanted to remind us of his unconditional love revealed to Saint Margaret Mary (Alacoque) the secrets of his Sacred Heart. Once again the lives of Christians were filled with love, peace and joy. On the First Friday of each month Churches were packed with people celebrating the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

“Sacred Heart I trust in Thee,” was in the hearts and on the lips of millions.

But as the years rolled on, once again people began to forget the love, the mercy of God.

Then Jesus revealed to Sr. Faustina the secrets of his Divine Mercy, and requested that the Sunday after Easter be celebrated as the Feast of Divine Mercy.

Sr. Faustina told Jesus,

“I am surprised that you bid me to talk about this Feast of Divine Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast, so why should I talk about it?”

Jesus said to her,

“And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming my mercy and teaching the people about it, often do not know about it themselves.”

How many more revelations do we need to convince us? We should go back to the Gospels and read it again. We didn’t get the point! The fidelity of the love of God, the unconditional love of God, the mercy of God is very clear, and definitively expressed in the Gospels. God is love. The unconditional love of God, the Divine Mercy, is a GIVEN. It is always available. The one unforgivable sin is to think that our sin is too great for the mercy of God. As we saw during Holy Week, this was the sin of Judas: not that he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, but that he denied the Divine Mercy. He thought that his sin was too great to be forgiven. He could have been forgiven just as Simon Peter was forgiven.

And so, we can also be forgiven….. Ask for his forgiveness, and with a contrite heart, you will be given what you seek. God loves you so much more than you can understand. Ask for his love and he will fill you, completely. He will heal you; he will make all things new again, within you. Open your hearts and allow him in.

Divine Mercy

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