DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
April 23, 2017
Jesus, I trust in You.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
10:30 AM MASS CHURCH, CHESTER
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION 2:30 - 4:00 PM
ROSARY FOLLOWING EXPOSITION
DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET 3:00 PM
CONFESSION FOLLOWING CHAPLET
BENEDICTION 3:50 PM
Sunday of Divine Mercy
On the Second Sunday of Easter of the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass for the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II proclaimed to the world that "from now on throughout the Church" this Sunday will be called "Divine Mercy Sunday." Our Lord insisted that it be celebrated on a specific day - the Sunday after Easter!
Our Lord revealed to St. Faustina His desire to literally flood us with His graces on that day. Just consider each of the promises and desires that He expressed about Mercy Sunday, which are recorded in the main passage of the Diary - passage 699 - about Mercy Sunday:
"On that day the very depths of My tender Mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon these souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy [the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist].
The soul that will go to Confession [beforehand] and receive Holy Communion [on that day] shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.
On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened.
Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.
The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter."
"Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy ... I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it" (742).
Thus, to fittingly observe the Feast of Mercy, we should:
1. Celebrate the Feast on the Sunday after Easter;
2. Sincerely repent of all our sins;
3. Place our complete trust in Jesus;
4. Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday;
5. Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast;
6. Venerate* the Image of The Divine Mercy;
7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words and prayers on their behalf.
The Schoolmen discussed the whole question at length. St. Thomas declares what idolatry is in the "Summa Theologica", II-II:94, and explains the use of images in the Catholic Church (II-II:94:2, ad 1Um). He distinguishes between latria and dulia (II-II:103). The twenty-fifth session of the Council of Trent (Dec., 1543) repeats faithfully the principles of Nicaea II:
[The holy Synod commands] that images of Christ, the Virgin Mother of God, and other saints are to be held and kept especially in churches, that due honour and reverence (debitum honorem et venerationem) are to be paid to them, not that any divinity or power is thought to be in them for the sake of which they may be worshipped, or that anything can be asked of them, or that any trust may be put in images, as was done by the heathen who put their trust in their idols [Psalm 134:15 sqq.], but because the honour shown to them is referred to the prototypes which they represent, so that by kissing, uncovering to, kneeling before images we adore Christ and honour the saints whose likeness they bear (Denzinger, no. 986).
As an example of contemporary Catholic teaching on this subject one could hardly quote anything better expressed than the "Catechism of Christian Doctrine" used in England by command of the Catholic bishops. In four points, this book sums up the whole Catholic position exactly:
"It is forbidden to give divine honour or worship to the angels and saints for this belongs to God alone."
"We should pay to the angels and saints an inferior honour or worship, for this is due to them as the servants and special friends of God."
"We should give to relics, crucifixes and holy pictures a relative honour, as they relate to Christ and his saints and are memorials of them."
"We do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see nor hear nor help us."
Sunday of Divine Mercy
In her Diary, St. Faustina records a special promise given to her by Jesus. He told her to communicate it to the whole world:
My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinn
ers. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy (699).
I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy (1109).
Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (300).
The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (699).
To receive these graces, the only condition is to receive Holy Communion worthily on Divine Mercy Sunday (or the Vigil celebration) by making a good confession beforehand and staying in the state of grace and trusting in His Divine Mercy.
By these conditions, our Lord is emphasizing the value of confession and Holy Communion as miracles of mercy. The Eucharist is Jesus, Himself, the Living God, longing to pour Himself as Mercy into our hearts.
In addition, our Lord says through St. Faustina that we are to perform acts of mercy:
"Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy" (742).
"The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive" (1578).
The worthy reception of the Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday is sufficient to obtain the extraordinary graces promised by Jesus.