Divine Mercy Sunday

This is the one who came through water and blood. (1 John 5:6)

“Throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation … to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that human­ity will experience in the years to come.” Twelve years ago, Pope John Paul II used these words to inaugu­rate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast to be celebrated every year on the sec­ond Sunday of Easter.

The feast came at the urging of St. Maria Faustina, a Polish religious sister and visionary who lived at the beginning of the twentieth century. In her diary, she wrote how Jesus had told her: “I will pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of my mercy… . Let no one fear to draw near to me, even though their sins be as scarlet” (Diary, 699).

During her short life, Faustina received hundreds of revelations about God’s mercy. She knew what it was to feel far away from God, and she knew what it felt like to be very close to him. Weakened by undi­agnosed tuberculosis, she strained to carry out even the menial duties assigned to her in her convent. But despite her struggles, she stayed faithful to the Lord, trusting that his mercy could overcome every obstacle. “I snuggle to the heart of God like a baby to its mother’s breast,” she once wrote, describing how trusting in his love brought her immense consola­tion (Diary, 104).

Today of all days, don’t be afraid to draw near to the Lord. You may suffer trials, you may struggle against temp­tation, or you may fall into sin. But don’t worry. As St. Peter tells us, we may not see God now, but we can still rejoice because Jesus has done every­thing necessary to save us. That’s how merciful he is. So celebrate his mercy today—by receiving it!

“Father, I want to rest in your heart as St. Faustina did. I open myself to you, that I might be immersed in the ocean of your mercy and grace.”