Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Little Something Extra...Second Sunday of Easter

Today we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy, which was granted to the universal Church by Pope John Paul II on April 23, 2000. According to the Church's official decree, this feast is "a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come." In other words, today we focus our attention on God's great mercy and compassion, and we acknowledge our trust in God, confident that no matter what happens in the world or in our own lives, God will care for us.

Jesus Himself revealed the divine desire for today's Feast through St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a humble Polish nun, in 1931. He spoke to her of His intention for this great day:

"My daughter, 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 for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy." (Diary 699)

As a visible reminder of His mercy, Jesus showed St. Faustina an image of Himself with His hand raised in blessing and two rays, one red and one pale, emanating from His heart. He instructed her to have the image painted and to add the words "Jesus, I trust in You." Jesus also explained the meaning and importance of the image:

"The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him." (Diary 299)

"By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works." (Diary 742)

"I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory." (Diary 48)

Today, then, spend some time reflecting on the great mercy that God wants to pour out upon the world and upon each of us individually, for we are all His beloved children.

For more information about Divine Mercy Sunday and the Divine Mercy devotion, see the following: 

Information on the Divine Mercy devotion -

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