Divine Mercy Sunday – Second Sunday of Easter
Written by Fr. Andrew Bass
Today, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, is known throughout the Church as Divine Mercy Sunday. It has been celebrated in this way since the year 2000 when Pope St. John Paul II declared that this Sunday would honour the Divine Mercy of Christ as revealed to St. Mary Faustina Kowalska.
From the diary of this young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930’s. The message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the Church has always taught through scripture and tradition:
that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness.
But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone—especially the greatest sinners.
The message and devotion to Jesus as the Divine Mercy is based on the writings of St. Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to the Divine Mercy had begun to spread.
The message of mercy is that God loves us—all of us—no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognise that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.
The earliest element of the devotion to the Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina was the image of Christ. On February 22, 1931 Our Lord appeared to her with rays radiating from His heart and said, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. 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. I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image.”
Jesus added: “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 agonised 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. 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.”
So on this 2nd Sunday of Easter let us beseech the Divine Mercy of our risen Lord and Saviour and pray, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
In commemoration of the mercy of Our Lord devotions will be prayed on Sunday 28th of April 2019 at Holy Family Church (200 The Trongate, South Granville) beginning at 3:00 p.m. with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Following this, so that the conditions for the plenary indulgence offered on this day may be fulfilled the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed, with a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, will be said. From 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. the Sacrament of Penance will be offered and then at 5:00 p.m. the holy sacrifice of the Mass. So join us as we honour the mercy of God that knows no bounds and the treasure of whose goodness is infinite.