The second Sunday of Easter is dedicated as Divine Mercy Sunday. Often, people wonder why Pope John Paul II chose this Sunday as Divine Mercy Sunday. We can find a clue in the Gospel reading today when we hear that Jesus breathed on the Apostles and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:22-23). In doing this, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as the Sacrament of Divine Mercy through which God forgives us our sins and reconciles us to himself.
The devotion to Jesus as the Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint 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 before she died in 1938. The central message of the Divine Mercy is that God loves us all; no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize 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.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet and prayer are usually prayed at 3:00pm; the exact hour that Jesus died on the cross. The devotion was actively promoted by Pope John Paul II who, On April 30, 2000, canonized Sr. Faustina and officially designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. Pope John Paul II was so devoted to the Divine Mercy that I believe it was providential that he died on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday on April 2, 2005. This also explains why the Church chose to canonize him, along with Pope John XXIII, on Divine Mercy Sunday. I am glad we have the Divine Mercy ministry in our parish. I thank them for organizing the Divine Mercy Novena, which began on Good Friday, and continued through the first week of Easter. The world is in great need of God’s Mercy right now and I ask for your continuous prayers for an end to the pandemic and for those who have abandoned their faith in God.BACK TO LIST