On April 22, 2001, which was one year after establishing Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope John Paul II reemphasized its message in the Resurrection context of Easter:
“Jesus said to St. Faustina one day: ‘Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy’. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.”
The devotion to Divine Mercy Sunday grew rapidly after its designation by Pope John Paul II and is now widely celebrated by Catholics. The Divine Mercy image is often placed in a location in the church for veneration. Our image hangs in the little chapel just outside the priest’s sacristy with the image of the Infant of Prague.
The liturgical celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday reflects the devotional elements of Divine Mercy itself. The first prayer of that Mass beginning with:
Heavenly Father and God of Mercy, We no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for He is alive and has become the Lord of Life.
This opening prayer refers to divine mercy as the key element in the plan of God for salvation and emphasizes the belief that it was through mercy that God gave his only son for the redemption of mankind, after the fall of Adam.
Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011, at the Vatican, included the beatification of Pope John Paul II, for which over a million pilgrims went to Rome. John Paul II died in April 2005 on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday. not only was beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday, by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, but was canonized together with Pope John XXIII also on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, by Pope Francis.
As I think about it, what could stand more closely to the very heart of the meaning of the Resurrection than God’s Mercy?
Why did Jesus go through His Passion and Death and what was the promise of it all? The answer is God’s Mercy poured out on us. What gift could better symbolize God’s love shining through his Son?
I didn’t realize the degree to which Divine Mercy played such a role in Pope Saint John Paul’s life. Considering what he went through in his life, especially in the last years, who more than he would have understood just what mercy really meant.
I’m grateful that none of the scripture readings today made any references to Noah. I’m going to take the Bible’s word for it that he was grateful when he could finally get off that Ark. I’ve been seriously wondering if I should consider getting at least a kayak.
I thank God (in His mercy) that the parish grounds came out of the one-in-a-thousand event okay. I’m praying for the folk who are still swimming out (as opposed to digging out.) Sixty ibis had a breakfast of swimming delicacies in my backyard on Friday morning. As for me, I’m not going to complain about brown grass for a little while.