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Feast of Divine Mercy

Apr 23

Written by:
4/23/2017 12:00 AM  RssIcon

This past December, we concluded the ‘Year for Mercy’ in the Church. Pope Francis called this year to focus on the mercy of God, the generous Father, who always calls us to Himself and never ceases to seek each one of us out and welcome us home. It was an interesting year to look at all those images of mercy that come to us from the Scriptures, from the history of the Church and in the prayers that are presented for our reflections.

What struck me throughout the Year for Mercy was the number of times that the concept and idea of Mercy was mentioned in the prayers of the liturgy throughout the year. It seemed that week after week, somehow, Mercy was invoked: prayers for Mercy, prayers that God is merciful, prayers that we can be merciful towards one another, etc.

There is a tenderness in how God interacts with us, and His gaze is relentless and piercing; for His gaze draws us always closer to Himself, if we but have the courage to respond.

Which brings us to the Feast that is celebrated today: the Feast of Divine Mercy. Based on revelations given to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska in Poland early in the 20th Century. The Devotion spread slowly around the Church until the papacy of St. John Paul II, who popularized the devotion and declared the first Sunday after Easter to be ‘Divine Mercy Sunday,’ a time to be encountered by the gaze of the Savior as He invites St. Thomas to take his hand and place it in to the wound of his side.

Perhaps the lasting impression I have from the Year for Mercy is that Jesus never tires of talking with us, He never tires of listening to our struggles, He never tires of walking through the doubts that we have. Instead, He gently meets us in those very moments, as He met St. Thomas with the gentle ‘Do not be unbelieving, but believe!’

So often, we become paralyzed by our doubts, by our fears, by our own weaknesses and misunderstandings. In the Year for Mercy, we were encouraged to break through these barriers and today we are challenged to continue to break through those limits and come back to the Risen Jesus, to be washed clean, again, by the water and blood flowing from His Pierced Side.

For more information on the mysteries of Diving Mercy, or to have a tutorial on how to pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy, please visit http://www.thedivinemercy.org/.

In the Merciful Jesus,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel


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