Sunday of Divine Mercy
One goal for the Year of Discipleship is to help our parish family learn and embrace ways to deepen their love of God and our rich Catholic faith. One such opportunity exists as we near Divine Mercy Sunday on Sunday, April 16th. Perhaps you already have a devotion to this tradition, but in case not, I’d like to share the following with you.
First, have you noticed the beautiful piece of artwork that hangs on the wall to the left of the altar at Our Lady of Lourdes? We added the Divine Mercy image to the Church a little over a year ago and it is the image that appeared to Sister Faustina. She reflected that she saw Jesus clothed in white, one hand raised in blessing, the other resting on His breast. From His garment came rays of light, one red and the other pale in color. Jesus said to her: “Paint an image according to the vision you see, with the signature ‘Jesus, I trust in You’.” I invite you to take a closer look the next time you are at Mass.
Sister Faustina was born in Poland in 1905 and died at the young age of 33 in 1938. Like other saints who model devotion and inspire us today, Faustina distinguished herself by a devotion to Jesus with great trust in His Divine Mercy. She endeavored to instill this same trust in everyone she came into contact with during life and continues to do so today through the words in her published diary.
On April 30, 2000, 62 years after Faustina’s death, she was canonized and made a saint by Pope John Paul II. On the day of her canonization, John Paul II instituted that the Sunday after Easter should be known as Mercy Sunday in the Church. In keeping with Pope John Paul’s instruction, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday this year on Sunday, April 16th.
There are some rich devotional opportunities that come with Divine Mercy Sunday, and I would like to share them with you.
First, you are invited to come to the Church on Sunday, April 16th at 2 p.m. to take part in a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. At 3 p.m., also known as the Mercy Hour, we will recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet followed by Benediction. We encourage you to join us.
An added opportunity related to Divine Mercy Sunday is to participate in a nine-day Novena to His Mercy. To participate in this Novena, you are invited to the following:
Starting on Good Friday, April 7th, we invite you to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (using traditional rosary beads) for nine days, through Saturday, April 15th. Each day of the Novena your prayers will be offered for a different set of souls in need of Mercy. In addition to your prayers, you are invited to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation as close to Divine Mercy Sunday as possible, attend Mass and receive Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday where the divine image can be venerated.
For a detailed explanation of the novena prayers you will follow, all Divine Mercy devotions, the Novena, as well as how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, please see the following website:
When my Dad died, he left me with a tenderness toward St. Faustina because of how profoundly the words in her diary and the promises she relayed from Jesus affected him. Through her obedience to do Christ’s will she has led many to find the assurance of Christ’s mercy and love. In one of the little books my Dad had around, I read the following words that Saint Faustina’s spiritual director said to her: “Act in such a way that all those who come in contact with you go away joyful. Sow happiness about you because you have received much from God. Give generously of yourself to others, they should take leave of you, with hearts full of joy.”
Imagine how we could build up the Church and the Kingdom, if everyone who came into contact with us left more joyful than they arrived.
I look forward to praying together with you on Divine Mercy Sunday.