Divine Mercy Sunday

04-07-2024Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

God’s mercy is available to all of us, no matter how great our sins have been in the past. Just look at King David (who committed adultery and murder) or Mary Magdalene (a prostitute) or the good thief, St. Dimas, or the parable of the Prodigal Son, to name just as few examples. Our Lord wishes us to recognize that His Mercy is greater than our sins so that we call upon Him with trust, receive His Mercy and share that mercy with others. The message of mercy can be broken down into three parts that are as simple to remember as A, B and C.

A — Ask for His mercy. We must first realize that God is merciful! He wishes us to ask for His Mercy - upon ourselves, our nation and the whole world! Today’s Gospel contains the institution of the sacrament of Penance whereby Jesus gave the power to forgive sins to the Apostles on that first Easter Sunday.

B — Be merciful to others. He wants us to receive His Mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. Remember the beatitude, “Blessed are the Merciful for they shall obtain Mercy.” We set the limits of how much we want God to forgive us by how much we forgive others each day when we say the prayer Jesus Himself taught us: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We must, therefore, be merciful to others!

C — Confidence and complete trust in God. God wants us to trust in Him; to know and truly believe that He is God. He is in charge and is a loving God who is infinitely merciful. He does care for you! During Holy Week last week, we recalled just how much He cares for you. It is for this reason that on the image of Divine Mercy, Jesus had St. Faustina paint the words “Jesus I trust in Thee.”

On Divine Mercy Sunday, the focus is on the healing power of Our Lord's Mercy. Through Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Confessions, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy, we will draw special attention to God's Divine Mercy. Along with the regular Mass schedule, we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the main church and Confessions beginning at 2:00pm. In honor of Divine Mercy there will be a sung recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy beginning at 2:30pm. Holy Mass begins at 3:00pm in which we will ask for Our Lord's Divine Mercy to heal our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.

Why is Our Lord's Divine Mercy so important? Wholeness. Every person has a built-in desire for wholeness. This desire for joy is deeply rooted in our heart. The good news is that Our Lord desires to heal our broken heart… to bind up our wounds… to make us whole. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30). Our Lord longs to take our sins from us and to rescue us from isolation and sadness. Through our baptism, Jesus clothes us in garments of gladness. That is the lesson of His mercy and love.

Please take advantage of this time of great grace. Often our sickness, like other forms of human suffering, gives us an opportunity to encounter the living Christ… to ask for grace, for healing, or for the strength to accept sickness in a spirit of faith and submission to God's will. During this Mass, we will pray for the restoration of our physical health as well as our spiritual needs.

May Our Lord's Divine Mercy mend the broken hearted, restore hope, and bring joy to all in need of healing. This is part of the Church's experience in every age and today is no different. Our Lord desires to restore to health us and make us whole.

God Bless,

Fr. Don Kline, V. F.