Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.
Pope John Paul II established the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. The Divine Mercy, of course, is the unconditional love of God seen from the point of view of the sinner. It is the fidelity of the love of God. This is the Good News of the Gospel.
First of all there is the Incarnation, which we celebrated at Christmas. Though he was God he emptied himself, becoming like unto us in all things but sin. He became obedient to death on cross as we saw during Holy Week. John said, “Greater love than this no one has that he lay down his life for his friend.” Paul said that there is an even greater love and that is when we lay down our life not for our friend but for our enemy. And he reminds us that we were sinners when Jesus died for us. And there is an even greater love than this and that is that after having given his life for his enemy he offers it again in the Eucharist to be rejected and crucified again.
Jesus said that he came not for just but for the sinner. He ate and drank with sinners. He forgave sins and delegated that same power to his apostles. He taught the parables of the lost coin, the Good Shepherd, and the prodigal son, all of which tell us that the Divine Mercy is not “the pardon of a judge, but the embrace of a lover.”
The first Christians knew and experienced the fidelity of love of God, the unconditional love of God, the divine mercy. Their lives were filled with peace, love and joy. They rejoiced at having been found worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus. But human nature being what it is, over the centuries Christians began to forget this love of God. Then it was that a terrible heresy, Jansenism, swept over the church and this peace, love and joy was transformed into fear, anxiety and scrupulosity.
Jesus who wanted to remind us of his unconditional love revealed to Margaret Mary the secrets of his Sacred Heart. Once again the lives of Christians were filled with love, peace and joy. On the First Friday of each month Churches were packed with people celebrating the devotion to the Sacred Heart. “Sacred Heart I trust in Thee,” was in the hearts and on the lips of millions.
But as the years rolled on once again people began to forget the love, the mercy of God. Then it was that Jesus revealed to Sr. Faustina the secrets of his Divine Mercy, and requested that the Sunday after Easter be celebrated as the Feast of Divine Mercy. Sr. Faustina told Jesus, “I am surprised that you bid me to talk about this Feast of Divine Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast, so why should I talk about it?” Jesus said to her, “And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming my mercy and teaching the people about it often do not know about it themselves.”
How many more revelations do we need to convince us? We should go back to the Gospels and read it again. We didn’t get the point! The fidelity of the love of God, the unconditional love of God, the mercy of God is very clear, and definitively expressed in the Gospels.
God is love. The unconditional love of God, the Divine Mercy, is a GIVEN. It is always available. The one unforgivable sin is to think that our sin is too great for the mercy of God. As we saw during Holy Week this was the sin of Judas: not that he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver but that he denied the Divine Mercy. He thought that his sin was too great to be forgiven. He could have been forgiven just as Simon Peter was forgiven.
PETER WAS A LIAR
THERE THEY ARE IN HEAVEN
THE SIN OF ALL YOU SINNERS
good English but very good theology and the Gospel truth.
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