Vol: 44, No.27 Divine Mercy Sunday ( A) April 23 2017  
 
LITURGY AND LIFE

Celebrating the Divine Mercy Sunday is a wonderful occasion for us to experience the superabundant mercy of God which is for all His people, especially for those cut off from His love through sin.
Jesus, because of His great love and mercy, became man and through His suffering, death and resurrection conquered sin and death for us and made us sharers in His victory. Divine Mercy Sunday, the Octave Day of Easter, brings us the fullness of Christ’s resurrection, pointing back to the first day of our celebration on Easter Sunday. It was Jesus’ desire that the Feast be celebrated on the Octave Day of Easter, Sunday after Easter.
Pope St John Paul II, the “Mercy Pope”, wrote a powerful encyclical on Divine Mercy entitled “Rich in Mercy” and has spoken on many occasions on this theme. He himself celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday in 1995, the year he gave official approval for the celebration of it in Poland. Later on he named the Second Sunday of Easter as the Divine Mercy Sunday at the canonization of Sr Maria Faustina on 30 April 2000. John Paul II described Mercy Sunday thus: “In a special way, it is the Sunday of thanksgiving for all the goodness that God has shown us in the whole of Easter Mystery.” The Holy Father not only spoke in his speeches and writings about the need to live mercy, but also has shown it in his own life when he forgave his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca. The Pope met him in his prison cell and held the hand that had held the gun whose bullet tore into the Pope’s body. He embraced his enemy and pardoned him. This is an example of God’s divine

 

mercy, the same divine mercy whose message St Faustina witnessed, and we are called to experience and to help others also to experience.
The Lord revealed to St Faustina about His mercy, especially the ocean of mercy which is available on this day for all, and particularly for poor sinners. She said, “On one occasion I heard these words: ‘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 the 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” (Diary of Maria Faustina, 699).
As we receive this mercy of Jesus, we, as disciples of Him, have also to show the same to others. We shall show the world the mercy of God through our own lives. For this we need to understand the depth and the height and the width of His mercy and accept it, and become God’s beloved, enjoying His love and peace. Then we are able to show this mercy of God to our fellow human beings especially those who have wronged us, by forgiving them from our hearts. May the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy strengthen our faith in God’s unfailing love and mercy and enable us to be proclaimers of this mercy and His forgiving love to everyone in the world by every means possible.

– Fr Thomas Muthira, SSP
April 2017 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 2
24 Mon (W) St Fidelis Acts 4:23-31/ Ps 2:1-9/ Jn 3:1-8
25 Tue (R) ST MARK, Ev, Feast 1 Pet 5:5-14/ Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17/ Mk 16:15-20
26 Wed (W) Acts 5:17-26/Ps 34:2-9/ Jn 3:16-21
27 Thu (W) Acts 5:27-33/ Ps 34:2, 9, 17-20/ Jn 3:31-36
28 Fri (W) St Peter Chanel & Louis Mary de Montfort Acts 5:34-42/ Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14/ Jn 6:1-15
29 Sat (W) St Catherine of Siena Acts 6:1-7/ Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19/ Jn 6:16-21
 
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