Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. This year we celebrate this day in the midst of these difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus which has caused us to adapt our approach to certain liturgical services. This great day is associated with Sr. Faustina. She was a Catholic nun and mystic from Poland who experienced apparitions of Jesus which inspired the devotion of Divine Mercy and earned her the title of “Apostle of Divine Mercy.”
The Church, in the year 2000, declared that the Second Sunday of Easter is known as “Divine Mercy Sunday”. Sr. Faustina was canonized in that year and the observance of Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted soon thereafter.
It may seem unusual that Divine Mercy Sunday comes so soon after the season of Lent. After all, is not Lent the season to focus on repentance and mercy? Well, our Church believes that the timing is most appropriate because Jesus’ message to Sr. Faustina reminds us that there is no limit to His mercy for those who truly believe, for those who humbly ask for forgiveness. His mercy is not limited by boundaries, nor is it impacted by seasonal limitations. This was His message to Sr. Faustina, and this is His message to us.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has emphasized the need for mercy. As reported by the Catholic News Agency, he stated, “The wounds of Jesus are a treasure from which mercy comes. With His wounds, Jesus intercedes before the Father.”
Our Holy Father has urged us to embrace this day and truly reflect a spirit of mercy, repentance, and reconciliation in our lives. On this day, one week after Easter, we are reminded why Jesus rose from the dead, and one of the reasons was to shower the world with divine mercy.
The following “Divine Mercy 3 O’clock Prayer” reflects the spirit of this day:
You expired, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls
and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water,
which gushed from the heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in You. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, we gratefully note that the focus on Divine Mercy Sunday has increased in this nation in recent years as more Catholics acknowledge the need for mercy. This Sunday will have a Holy Hour at Saint Brigid at 3:00 pm, the recognized hour of Divine Mercy. All are invited to attend as we come together in prayer and humbly thank the Lord for showering His mercy on us.