On this Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of the Easter Season, we read in the Gospel of Saint John (20:19-31), Acts 4:32-35, Psalm 118, and 1 John 5:1-6, about the infinite mercy and love of Jesus Christ, as Jesus is always ready to forgive us, with divine love, compassion, kindness and generosity – that by His Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus has won for us Eternal Life in Heaven. The Church throughout the world also concludes a Novena today to the Divine Mercy, a nine-day devotional prayer that we began on Good Friday.
God calls us to respond to His mercy (His infinite compassion, love and forgiveness): to believe in, follow and love Him, and to remember our ABC’s: Ask for His mercy, Be merciful and Completely trust in Him.By God’s grace, amazingly, we can both receive and communicate God’s mercy. When we receive His grace in the Sacraments (Holy Eucharist and Confession, for example), Jesus Christ enfolds us in His infinite mercy and He strengthens us to be instruments of His mercy and love, to live the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, which are charitable actions where we help our neighbors in their spiritual and bodily necessities (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2447).
Regarding spiritual and corporal works of mercy, Jesus said that as you did it to one of the least of My brothers and sisters, you did it to Me (Matthew 25:31-46; Isaiah 58; Hebrews 13); and He tells us to: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; visit the sick; visit the imprisoned; and bury the dead. In Sacred Scripture and Church history, God calls us to: counsel the doubtful; instruct the ignorant; admonish the sinner; comfort the sorrowful; forgive injuries; bear wrongs patiently; and pray for the living and the dead.
We can participate in the works of mercy right now, by praying for: the dead; the mourning; the sick, injured and suffering; moms, dads and their babies; strong marriages; the elderly; the orphaned and widowed; the jobless; the homeless; and all those committed to helping others. We can feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless by participating in such organizations as our Knights of Columbus and Council of Catholic Women, by helping with our Family Promise host week, and by giving of our time and treasure to our local food pantry and thrift stores, to various Catholic charities, including pro-life groups, such as Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life, Clarity Clinic in Platteville, Women’s Care Center in Madison, and Priests for Life. Let us continue to pray: Jesus, have mercy on us and on the whole world. And Jesus, I trust in You. Amen. Alleluia!
With peace and prayers in Christ,