Reflection on Divine Mercy

On Sunday, April 19th, we celebrated on the last day of the Easter Octave, Divine Mercy.  Pope Francis said, “we are all together in this time of anxiety.”

Our planet is wounded by a virus.  There are over two million people affected by this virus and around 150,000 people dead.  The effects of the coronavirus have disrupted life as we know it. Humanity’s oneness remains broken.  The economy is challenged, unemployment rises every day, businesses are closed, some might close for good, schools, recreation are cancelled indefinitely.

The inner wounds bring about fear for the health of our first responders, the healthcare workers for those who are dying alone and these families longing for one more encounter with their loved one.

For so many Sundays, our Churches are empty.  What does Divine Mercy Sunday mean to all of us?  Last Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:  19-31) talks about the lack of faith of Thomas.  Yes, even those who walked with Jesus could not believe in the power of the Resurrection.  These are days when God’s presence and his providence comes under great query – perhaps criticism.  We all can understand that fear.  Remember the Risen Lord stands with us.

Divine Mercy – The Risen Lord comes to ally all those fears.  The message of Divine Mercy is that God never abandons us.  God’s love is stronger than death.  The message is in His mercy, we are saved.  This year we can come to a new appreciation in the hope that mercy gives us.

God reveals Himself as the most merciful God.  Jesus will instruct us, his disciples “Be merciful, just as the Father is Merciful.  (Luke 6:36)

God as Divine Mercy was powerfully revealed in recent times through St. Faustina in Poland and St. John Paul offering the “Theology of Mercy” by declaring in the liturgical feast, Divine Mercy.

We are living through a frightening time and after a big challenge to our faith.  It is easy to lose faith, yet grace happens to make our faith deepen and flourish.

St. Faustina writes, “Jesus is God’s Message of Mercy.” To experience that, three commitments are to be made:

1.)  Total trust in Jesus, that He is the Lord of Mercy.

2.)  Jesus holds our hands in our moments of darkness in His Mercy.

3.)  We need to grow in mercy through showing mercy to our fellow human beings.

Mercy needs to be one way of worshipping God in these days of darkness and hopelessness. Mercy becomes one new form of liturgy as a fruit of the Eucharist.

We can’t be indifferent to human suffering and forgetful of our neighbors.   At this time when we are asked to be away from our sisters and brothers through social distancing, the message of St. Faustina is simple.  Mercy must be shown in three ways:  through deeds, through words and never forgetting through our prayers.

Although our Churches, built of stone and brick, are closed, our church is deepened, renewed, and expresses itself by acts of mercy.

When mercy becomes our life’s motivation, we can win together against any virus.  Divine Mercy invites us to return to our humanity and remember Jesus stands in our midst with His Easter quietly greeting “Peace be with you.”

Let God of Mercy be the revelation to us and through us.

Praying God’s graces upon all.  May He bless you!

Father Jerry Dvorak