- I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6-7)
- I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners. (Matthew 9:13)
On Divine Mercy Sunday, the floodgates of heaven - through which all graces flow - open. Our Lord’s love and mercy freely pours out - like the sunshine on a bright clear day; - showering down on all people. We, his beloved children, need only to stand in the Light of God, repenting our sins – accepting his mercy and grace.
Jesus promised that on the first Sunday after Easter: “The Soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins. . .” (Diary 699) What a tremendous opportunity Divine Mercy Sunday presents for us!
Repent, ask God’s forgiveness and receive his mercy and love. Wipe clean the slate - begin anew - walk in the Light of God, - sinless. Take up our discipleship in Christ Jesus, live fully our life of love and good works – be the face of Jesus to all we meet, spread the good news to the whole world and love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
A while ago an email was circulating that made me very sad. This email was completely devoid of love and charity. It lacked Jesus’ two commandments: to love God above all things and to love our brothers and sisters as we love ourselves – as we are loved by God.
The email had a list of fourteen statements - each advocating no love for our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ – People seeking a life away from poverty, - a life free from oppression, - a life without the cruelty of corruption. People: - men, women and children - hoping for and seeking love, - seeking peace, - seeking justice.
It is easy to vilify the alien - the stranger among us, - placing blame on them for a variety of problems; saying, “if we keep them out - all our problems will be solved,” but in our hearts we know it is not true and - certainly we know in our hearts it is not the way we are called to live as Disciples of Christ.
- Jesus asks us to look into the face of each of the least of his people - to see his face
- Jesus asks us to look into the suffering lives of each of the least of his people - to see his suffering
- Jesus asks us to look into the hearts of the least of his people - to see his heart - burning with God’s love for all his children
The Word of God, Jesus, the Christ, calls us to live our lives in a radical new way. As disciples he calls us to: look at the world through his eyes, see each of us as we are - beloved children of God. Just as Jesus is not of this world, - we too, - as Disciples of Christ, - are not of this world, - a world which worries itself over worldly things. We are called to aspire to higher things – to the things of above – the things of God.
In Matthew, Jesus tells us:
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
And can any of you - by worrying - add a single hour to your span of life? Matthew 6:25-27
Jesus asks us to trust in him - Live his Word – Love as he loves – completely - without hesitation:
§ Love our brothers and sisters and not count the cost,
§ Love others as we ourselves would be loved,
§ Share with those who have less; - with those who have nothing,
§ Care for the sick, as we would want care
§ Free the oppressed, as we would live free
§ Jesus asks us to warmly greet the stranger with love and hospitality, - welcome him; give him food, shelter and comfort
§ He tells us to speak up for the voiceless and the vulnerable;
§ To make room at the head of the table for the poor, the outcast and the lonely, so they too may share in God’s bounty
Jesus calls us to be peace makers, speaking out against oppressors and warmongers who - for lust and greed, - pride and envy, - hate and fear – make gods of themselves - victimizing the weak and conquering the defenseless
As disciples we can be no less than the face of Jesus to the world. To be called followers of Christ, - to wear the name Christian - is to live the Gospel message, not only this day, but everyday - in every way.
So, on this day the Lord has made – this Divine Mercy Sunday – Let us rejoice and be glad, - for God’s unending love and mercy - which is poured out through the gates of heaven – let us ask God for his mercy - and forgiveness of our sins - for what we have done, - for what we have failed to do – and for what might do better.
Let us seek God’s abundant grace poured forth from the Fount of Christ’s loving heart, - for us and for our salvation.
Trust in Jesus, - Believe in the Gospel - and Love as He loves - by loving God and all our brothers and sisters.