Homily Starter


DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

Gospel: John 20:19-31 "My Lord and My God"

Today we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy!

     To Saint Faustina Our Lord said:

"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 graces flow are opened." (Diary, 699).

This day we celebrate the richness, meaning, participation in and application of God's mercy for us.

This day we cry out with St. Thomas: "My Lord and My God" (Jn 20:28).

This is the day the Lord has made:

This is the day of Atonement described in the Old Testament (Lev 16 and Sirach 50). But now the Blood of Jesus is sprinkled on the mercy seat. Now Jesus, the scapegoat and lamb of God, has taken our sins. Now we are cleansed in the blood of Jesus!

This is the day of the covenant.
On the eighth day of resurrection, the octave day, we celebrate God's solemn commitment, His covenant of merciful love. We ratify the covenant of mercy by receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

This is the day we celebrate God's mercy!
His mercy is infinite! His mercy is greater than sin, than evil, than suffering, than death! In His mercy we have victory, salvation and eternal life.

Today is the day of mercy!
A day to turn to the Lord and plunge ourselves into the infinite ocean of His mercy. Today is the day to immerse our family and friends into the ocean of mercy by our prayers for them. Today is the day to tell Jesus we love Him and give our lives to Him and say that we trust Him. Today and everyday we cry out to Him: Jesus, I Trust in You!

Today is the day of mercy!
Even if our sins be as red as scarlet, they will be made white as wool if we but turn to His infinite mercy and trust Him. Today is the great day of atonement. He is waiting for us with a heart burning with love and mercy, ready to forgive and to embrace us - if we but take the step to turn to Him and cry: "Jesus! Mercy! Jesus, I Trust in You!"

How do we celebrate the Feast of Mercy

It was clarified by the words of Our Lord to Saint Faustina:

  1. We are to prepare with a novena of chaplets starting on Good Friday 
  2. We are to be purified by the "Tribunal of mercy," the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  3. We are to venerate the sacred image of the merciful Savior by gazing upon it as a reminder to trust Jesus and be merciful.
  4. We are to perform some works of mercy to others.
  5. We are to seal and ratify the covenant of mercy by receiving Holy Communion!

This day is a day of new purification, new beginnings, like a new baptism.

Why today?
Because now is the time for mercy - before the time of judgment! Our Lord told Saint Faustina:
"Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of My mercy." (Diary 300, 699).

We read in Acts 2:17-2 1,
"In the last days," God said, "I will pour out My Holy Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams. Yes, the Holy Spirit shall come upon all My servants, men and women alike, and they shall prophesy. And I will cause strange demonstrations in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and clouds of smoke, the sun shall turn black and the moon blood-red before that awesome day The Lord arrives. But anyone who asks for mercy from The Lord shall have it and be saved."

Preparing for the second coming.
Our Lord makes it very clear Saint Faustina that this need to proclaim His message of mercy is urgent, because the world needs it as a preparation for His coming again:
"Speak to the world about My mercy.... It is a sign for the end time. After it will come the Day of Justice...." (Diary 848) "You will prepare the world for My final coming... " (Diary 429) "Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near." (Diary 965)

Repeatedly the Lord tells Saint Faustina that He is offering sinners the "last hope of salvation." No matter how great our sins, He wants us to come back to Him, but we must respond now, while it is still the time of mercy:
"Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy... " (Diary 1588) "I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation..." (Diary 1160)

"While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy...." (Diary 848) "He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice." (Diary 1146)

The Chaplet.
Our Lord Himself gave us the Chaplet through Saint Faustina, and He made it clear to her that it was for the whole world. He also attached extraordinary promises to its recitation. He said,
"Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you... Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death... When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Savior... Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy... I desire to grant unimaginable graces to souls who trust in My mercy.. Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will."

The Hour of Mercy.
Our Lord asked for special prayer and meditation on His passion each afternoon at the three o'clock hour, the hour that recalls His death on the cross. Our Lord said,
"At three o'clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy.. In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My passion. As often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world, mercy triumphed over justice. Immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant."

The Image.
In 1931 Our Lord granted a vision to Saint Faustina with two rays emanating from His heart, one red and the other pale. As she gazed intently at Him, He said to her,
"Paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature: Jesus, I Trust in You... 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 ... I desire that this image be venerated throughout the world. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. I want this image to be Blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, the eighth, or octave day of the resurrection: that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy. 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 will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of Him."

How are we to remember the message of Mercy? By the ABC's.
A. Ask for His mercy. 
B. Be merciful. 
C. Completely trust in Jesus.

(End of Homily)

Solemn Blessing of the Image (If not already blessed)

Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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