Today is the Day of Mercy!
Today, the Octave day of Easter is also known as “Divine Mercy Sunday”. The Feast was instituted by Pope St John Paul II in response to Our Lord’s revelations to St Faustina, a twentieth century Polish nun, whom the same Pope canonised in 2000. The Divine Mercy image which Our Lord instructed St Faustina to have painted with the words “JESUS I trust in You” at the bottom, will be blessed at all Masses this weekend. Furthermore, Our Lord made the most incredible promise regarding this Feast of 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 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 of St Faustina, 699).
Think about it. In the normal way, while confession forgives the guilt of our sins, the temporal punishment remains. This means we have to do penance and make reparation for our sins, even though they’ve been forgiven by a good confession and absolution. But on this Feast of Mercy, if you make a good confession (all mortal sins since your last good confession should be mentioned), and receive Holy Communion, all guilt and temporal punishment is removed. That is the equivalent of a second Baptism! 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 in Him.
On Monday this week, we celebrate our Patronal Feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would be the Mother God Who was going to take to Himself our human flesh. “Behold, I Myself will seek My sheep, and will visit them” (Ezekiel 34:11). God becoming man and dying on the Cross to save us from Hell is the ultimate act of His mercy. After this, how can we ever doubt His great love for us?
Fr Paul Gillham IC