In the Gospel reading every year on the Second Sunday of Easter, Jesus enters the upper room where the disciples are and tells them, “Peace be with you.” That peace lies at the heart of Divine Mercy. It is the peace which Jesus won for all men and women on the cross. His resurrection is the Father’s public validation of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. That is why Pope Saint John Paul II gave the Second Sunday of Easter the name “Divine Mercy Sunday.”
Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, experienced visions of the Lord Jesus during the 1930s. As a result of these visions, she produced a now-famous image of Jesus with red and white beams of light coming from his side with the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
Catholics who go to Confession, receive Communion, and offer prayers for the Pope while also participating in Divine Mercy devotions in a spirit of complete detachment from sin can receive full remission of temporal punishment due to sin (Plenary Indulgence) on this day.
Pope Francis has made mercy one of the hallmarks of his pontificate. He proclaimed the Year of Mercy so that in receiving God’s mercy in our own lives, we can extend it to others. All of us can do this in concrete ways such as forgiving our spouse or siblings. Perhaps there are relationships in our lives that require healing. The poor, the vulnerable, and sinners especially need us to be instruments of God’s mercy. Through Divine Mercy, the great gift of Jesus’ cross and resurrection, we can hear Jesus once again say to us, “Peace be with you.”
-Eric Banecker, Seminarian, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
How to Live It
This year’s Divine Mercy Sunday falls on April 3, 2016. During this special Jubilee year, consider making a effort to receive the Plenary Indulgence available on this Feast of Mercy. To learn more about our Archdiocesan celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, visit archphila.org/mercy or contact the parish at [parish contact info here].
Quote from Catholic Tradition:
“I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.” -Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary of St. Faustina, 1520
To continue reflecting on this theme, consider one of these resources!
Recommended Book for the Month: Consoling the Heart of Jesus, Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC
Lighthouse Catholic Media CD: The Saving Power of Divine Mercy by Fr. Jason Brooks