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Divine Mercy Sunday

Pastor’s Corner #389 – Today, the Second Sunday of Easter, is now celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. This has been done in accord with the declaration made by St. Pope John Paul II during his Canonization homily for St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, back on April 30, 2000. The original direction for this Feast to be celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter, was given to Faustina by Jesus on February 22, 1931. To celebrate it, as Jesus has personally requested of us, one obviously needs to know what the entire Divine Mercy Devotion entails…why it is needed and what are the benefits.

The primary reason Our Lord gave His instruction on Divine Mercy, to Faustina, was that …although He will forgive any sins that are confessed with true sorrow and contrition… He laments that so few have been coming to confess our sins and take advantage of His Healing Mercy and forgiveness. He, through St. Faustina, has urged all of us to become active in spreading the message of His Divine Mercy. The responsibility of spreading His Mercy message accrues to everyone of us, particularly we elders, parents, and grandparents. And just like with all of our Catholic traditions, we need to first read, understand, and believe… before we can promote and spread the message. And what we are to read, is the “Diary of St. Faustina – Divine Mercy in My Soul”.

Every Catholic home should have these three books present and easily accessible in your home: The Catholic Bible, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and The Diary of St. Faustina. An important element of this Devotion that is all too often overlooked is that, on this Sunday…Divine Mercy Sunday… Jesus was vehement that “…there must also be Acts of Mercy …I demand from you Deeds of Mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbor always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it” (Diary pp742).

In all of our spiritual endeavors, there is a liberty our Lord has bequeathed to us all…and that is free will. Our Lord spent three years teaching us the Right and meritorious way to live our lives and to care for all others. If we will take advantage of His lesson of Mercy, and live it, we can attain the golden reward of eternal life with Him in Heaven. We are not forced to accept this, because God honors our freedom.

This freedom is what the Church celebrates today, on Divine Mercy Sunday. Remember, Pope St. John Paul II, who declared this Sunday to bear the mark of Divine Mercy largely because he knew the power of Christ’s words to set the human heart free from sin. He also gave us Theology of the Body, and Divine Mercy is so linked to Theology of the Body, because it is due to our dignity as sons and daughters of the Father, that Jesus wants us to know of His Divine Mercy. From the balcony of St. Peter’s… as the new Pope…John Paul II said: “Be not afraid!” And I would encourage one and all to not be afraid to accept His limitless Mercy with a well-planned, freeing, and uplifting confession.

Confessions can be heard before each Saturday Vigil Mass, after daily morning Masses, and by appointment. Please give prayerful thought to throwing aside any fear that may have shackled you and is keeping you from returning to this Sacrament of Mercy. This Sunday is the ideal time to do so. We have a parish Divine Mercy celebration starting at 2:00 p.m. today, and I will hear confessions for any who desire it at its completion. A potluck dinner in Haryasz Hall will follow the celebration. I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours in Our Merciful Savior,