Divine Mercy Sunday April 23, 2017

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Since the year 2000, the Sunday following Easter has been celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Holy Catholic Church. It is a day for the faithful to gather together and seek God’s Mercy and forgiveness. One of the requirements to gain the indulgence is that the faithful must first obtain forgiveness through the sacrament of confession. We are then able to seek His Mercy from His most Merciful Heart. Although this particular devotion is fairly new, God’s Mercy is ageless…it is as eternal as the Lord Himself…

When speaking to Saint Faustina Jesus told her to “tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon the souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet…. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.” (Diary 699)

In reading Jesus’ words to St. Faustina, one can tell that God wishes for all mankind to take refuge in His most Merciful Heart. It is His desire that we act  as steward’s of this same mercy, when dealing with one another. In order that we gain Mercy from the Lord, we must treat those around us with this same Mercy. As faithful Catholics gearing our way towards heaven…we must learn to carry our crosses…we must learn to love with a heart like Christ’s..a heart that is full of mercy and forgiveness..especially to those around us...we must become the very fount of Mercy that we seek...

One of the first prayers that we learn as children…one of the first prayers Christ taught the disciples as a way to pray to our Heavenly  Father, is the Our Fatherwhich contains this very important message:

forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’…

So, we see that Jesus’ message has always been one of mercy and forgiveness…this is nothing new…Remember, we have to turn away from what causes us to sin, we cannot just continue our sinful ways and expect God to unfold His Mercy upon us…He mightbecause that is just how awesome He is…but…we have a responsibility too…When Jesus encountered the adulterous woman about to be stoned…He told her that He would not condemn her…but….(and here’s the kicker…) He also told her…’Go and sin no more.’

The Catholic Church has always recognized that man is in need of God’s mercy, and that God’s mercy is abundant. One of the more popular devotions is the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was typically the devotion that took place on the First Friday of the month as a way for the faithful to make reparations for the sins against Jesus, particularly in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It was also a way for man to seek out God’s Mercy through the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. It was given to St. Margaret Mary directly from Jesus….all the way back in 1673! But for some reason many people ignored the devotions to the Sacred Heart…And then when Vatican II moved through the Church, there were many changes in the way people worshiped…unfortunately with the air of modernism that came with this change, many priests stopped encouraging this powerful devotion…Many of the faithful felt lost, and abandoned…some even went so far as to abandon the Faith and these long held traditions of the Church….Those very devotions that had been the backbone of their forefathers, were put aside and neglected…and the faithful suffered

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Then during his Pontificate, Pope John Paul II felt that the time had come for the world…for God’s Faithful, to once again develop a devotion to God’s Infinite Mercy, he did this by studying the writings of St. Faustina and Jesus’ messages to her about His Divine Mercy, which had long been studied by the Church since their occurrence in 1931-1938. After careful review and consideration, he followed the wishes of Jesus as recorded by St. Faustina, and declared Divine Mercy Sunday a Feast day within the Church. His desire was that the faithful find healing to their suffering, he wanted to promote Jesus’ Heart as the Well of Mercy that it is… He felt that it would help man to focus once again on the Heart of Jesus…and the timeless nature of His Most Merciful Heart.

As a side note…contrary to the creation of the new Mercy2Earth movement…Jesus did not wish to establish the Divine Mercy as a devotion to worship the earth…Yes, I know, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the earth. And yes, we have a responsibility to care for others; by keeping the environment safe for all. But the Corporal works of Mercy as well as the Spiritual works of Mercy are to be done out of love for neighbor…done out of charity for one another.not love of earth… and we do not dare put this stewardship of the earth on the same level as the worship and devotion that belongs to God. God’s Heart is a flaming furnace of Mercy and Love for mankind, it deserves  our honor and devotionthe world does not. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is just one way to unite ourselves to that fount of Mercy… it should not be trivialized by ‘earth -firsters’ whose desire is to take our focus off of the One Who created us…

So as we celebrate God’s Love and Mercy on this Feast of Divine Mercy…remember that both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Merciful Heart of Jesus are one and the same…Jesus has one Heart! A heart that is full of love and mercy for all mankind…we just need to seek out His forgiveness and Mercy and it will be given…God wants to heal the suffering… the broken…the lost and the forgotten…He wants all of us to dwell in the abode of His Most Sacred and Merciful Heart….forever…

.Sacred Heart of Jesus

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