Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
In 1935, the first Mass was celebrated in front of the image of the painting of Divine Mercy. Sister (now Saint) Faustina Kolawska, was present. With her personal revelations from the Lord, we came to understand the devotion to the Divine Mercy. She was told to keep a diary of what she heard from the Lord. One notation read:

“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls. ... If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy.”

Pope John Paul II recognized in Sister Faustina’s writings a message that was truly from Christ, and relevant to all mankind in every day and age. On April 30, 2000, the first Sunday following Easter, Pope John Paul both canonized Sister Faustina and declared in his homily of that day his own desire that the “Second Sunday of Easter ... from now on throughout the world will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.’”

And here we are. Now there is a devotion called the Divine Mercy Chaplet. These are prayers said during the recitation of the rosary which you can find, if you desire, on the little holy cards in front of our image of the Divine Mercy.

People can become very enthused at various time and in various places with devotions that catch their attention and bring them to deeper relationships with the Lord. Divine Mercy certainly comes for people today in a world that often is merciless. Perhaps that explains its popularity.

As you recall, this letter was written about six days ago. Last Tuesday I was looking at our image of the Lord showing Divine Mercy. It is in the area to the left of the altar as you enter the sacristy. I remember the day we hung that picture. It was the last time that Jay Mann was in the Church. He had asked me to place the image and paid for it and he didn’t care what it would cost. The frame has cracked, so as soon as this weekend is over we will replace it. It’s also ironic that Jay’s daughter, Mary Lou, is seriously ill in Hong Kong. I’ve been asking the Lord in his mercy to bless Mary Lou and her mother Carol, who is with her.

I will have had the week to see what develops, but also to begin thinking about today’s homily. The idea I keep coming back to is wondering and hoping that the emphasis we place on God’s mercy not only fills us with gratitude, but regenerates the way we show mercy to one another.

As we heard during the wonderful Easter Vigil celebration, Paul told us in his letter to the Romans (6:10) Jesus died once for the sins of all. Was that simply to open the gates of heaven to us? That’s where it begins.

How does knowing those doors are open affect you? What do we think, what do we feel when we hear that we’ve got an eternal destiny. For me, it means I’m not making the trip alone, and I want as many people as possible to come with me. How do I invite them? How about Divine Mercy for starters! And that’s a wish, not a question! Thank God for a nun who listened and a pope who got it. Now what?

One of the things that should be a sign of mercy is gratitude. I hope that’s not an abrupt, if less than subtle way, of saying THANK YOU to so many who made our Easter celebrations moments that touched people. We had 1448 people here for Easter. That’s about double our normal winter Sunday.

Because of all the work from decorators to singers to temple tenders to ushers and vacuumers, hopefully people learned something about the love of the Lord and the mercy he wants us to show each other.
In our Risen Lord,
sign frjim

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