Divine Mercy Sunday

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Established by St Pope John Paul II in the Jubilee Year 2000, Divine Mercy Sunday grew from private revelations to Sr Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun and now a saint, received from Jesus in the 1930s, as World War II approached. In her diary, she records that Jesus told her that this Feast of Mercy would be a very special day, when “all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened”. (Diary 699) The diary records Jesus’ promise that “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”(Diary 699) He went on to say, “I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.” (Diary 1109) Sr Faustina also recounted in her diary the request that the image of the Divine Mercy be venerated. St John Paul II said that the image portrays the Risen Jesus Christ bringing Mercy to the whole world. The Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Easter lend themselves to linking Easter and Divine Mercy since the texts highlight the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel is of Jesus appearing in the upper room and bestowing the authority to forgive sins, and the responsorial psalm for the day is the great Easter Psalm 117 which sings of the mercy of God enduring forever. The revelations of the Divine Mercy are nothing new. They are a reminder of what has always been taught through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we too, must show mercy and forgiveness. They point us to the ordinary channel of God’s forgiveness in the Church, the wonderful sacrament of individual penance and reconciliation (Confession). Let us rejoice on this Sunday in the love and mercy offered to the world through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord this Easter.