The Gift of Divine Mercy

My dear friends,

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. This special feast was inaugurated by St. John Paul II in October of 2000, who, on the same day, canonized Sr. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun through whom the Lord had chosen to spread His message of mercy. In her prayer, Jesus revealed to St. Faustina that His heart was filled with sadness, because the world did not yet understand or appreciate the immense gift of His Mercy, which He ached to pour out on all humankind.

In one of her diary entries she records this particular message from the Lord:

“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. Tell aching humankind to draw close to My merciful Heart . . . Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of (My) Mercy . . .”

“Tell souls where they are to look for help and relief: that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the sacrament of reconciliation]. There the greatest miracles take place . . . To [take advantage] of this miracle it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative (the priest) and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul (completely).

When you go to confession . . . the Blood and Water which came forth from My heart, always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Make your confession before Me. The person of the Priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.”

As we celebrate the Easter Season, we celebrate one of the greatest gifts of the Risen Lord: the gift of His Mercy. We need this gift of Jesus every day as we battle with sin and struggle with our weaknesses. Thanks to the power and presence of the Risen Christ, sin does not have the last word. It is never a final failure in which we are hopelessly mired. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a new love can spring from every failure; we can rise again after every fall.

To celebrate this wonderful gift of Jesus’ Mercy, our Church of St. Peter is hosting a regional Divine Mercy Celebration this afternoon. Confession will be available beginning at 2 p.m., followed by a Divine Mercy Prayer Service at 3 p.m. All are welcome. I hope you’ll be able to come.

God love you,

Fr. Steven

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