Divine Mercy Sunday
Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, the 8th day of the Solemnity of Easter in which Saint Pope John Paul II said that we receive the Easter gift. What is that Easter gift? It is a special gift of total forgiveness of all sins and punishment that the Catholic Church offers in the form of a plenary indulgence today.
Why today? What sets this day apart from another day? Today is the Octave Day of Easter, the last day of the world’s greatest Feast. Shouldn’t the world’s greatest feast offer the world’s greatest gift: the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment or, in other words, “a straight ticket to Heaven” if we should die today in this perfect state of sanctifying grace?
What does Divine Mercy actually mean? The word Divine means “given by God” or “like God.” The word Mercy means “the refraining from harming or punishing offenders.”
The Divine Mercy message is not new to the teachings of the Church. It was in the diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska that put a new focus on Divine Mercy. Saint Faustina’s diary was made up of revelations to her by our Lord Jesus Christ. Saint John Paul II canonized her in 2000 and said that she was “the greatest Apostle of Divine Mercy of our time.”
The image that we use for Divine Mercy shows Jesus with two rays of Light coming from his heart; one is red for the blood that we share in the Eucharist, and the other is white for the cleansing water of forgiveness. The Sacrament of the Eucharist was given to us on Holy Thursday, the Last Supper. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, of forgiveness, was given to the Apostles as told to us in today’s Gospel.
To gain a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday, you must receive the Sacrament of Confession, receive the Eucharist, and pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, the Pope. Also, in any church or chapel, in the spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy.
This is a special day. Please take advantage of all Jesus is offering you.
God Bless you,
More About Indulgences…
Sin causes a lot of bad, but good is a greater power. This is where indulgences come in. They are simply acts of holiness that help to reverse undue attachments, habits, vices, addictions, desires, and thoughts. They are acts of virtue. Good works of love. Prayers, reading scripture, adoring Christ, performing the works of mercy, going on pilgrimage… all of these are indulgences. They are little steps of good works that enlarge our hearts and help us to be more and more like Jesus. And we become attached more and more to Jesus, breaking our attachments to things of the world. They do not EARN heaven, they do not BUY our salvation, rather they are the good works we do BECAUSE we belong to the heavenly kingdom.