Divine Mercy is a great mystery of our faith. The very God of the universe, the Lord God Almighty, has deemed to humble Himself for all of mankind in order to save us from our sins so that we might have everlasting life with Him. We will never find our true purpose, the fullness of joy, or the all-abiding peace and love we seek until we realize our need for Him who unconditionally and freely gives His merciful healing love to all who ask. This, though we deserve justice for the fullness of our sins against so great a loving God. Our dignity as human beings, our very high calling by God Himself, rests in who we are in Him as His children created in His image. We can’t know this about ourselves until we know Him who created us and have relationship with Him. Divine Mercy is that door to His Heart. All one has to do is look upon and contemplate His Passion and death on the cross.
Good Friday is the start of a novena to the Divine Mercy of God. Many people pray a chaplet on Rosary beads for nine days with each day offered in prayer for a particular group of people. The novena culminates one week after Easter on Divine Mercy Sunday with many parishes celebrating this feast day that was instituted by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. This year is especially commemorative as it is the day that Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005, will be canonized in the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. John Paul II was a strong advocate of the Divine Mercy of God and in St Faustina Kowalska, a nun from Poland who received the messages of Divine Mercy in the 1930s from Our Lord. John Paul II wrote an encyclical, entitled Dives in Misericordia (On the Mercy of God), where he addresses the Divine Mercy of God in the hopes that humanity would call on and see that His mercy is greater than all the evils of the whole world.
A very beautiful and moving story of merciful love can be found in Luke 15:11-32, the story of the Prodigal Son. In it a father had two sons, one who was faithful to his father’s wishes and the younger one who wanted to receive his father’s inheritance early (i.e., as if his father was already dead) and go out to live his life in the world as he pleased. While the elder, faithful son worked and lived at home in his father’s house, the prodigal son lived a life of debauchery and selfishness. After a time, this son came to his senses and saw that even the servants of his father’s house lived better than he. So he decided to go home and beg for his father to take him back as a servant. But while he was yet a far way off, his father, always watchful and praying for his return, saw him. Filled with joy, this distinguished old man ran, yes ran, to his wayward son and hugged him, kissed him, and welcomed him unconditionally with open arms with all the merciful love he had in him. He shouted out to his servants telling them to come and kill the fatted calf because his son was dead and is now alive. He wished all to celebrate with great joy his return home! Now, the elder brother heard and was greatly disturbed by all the commotion for such a wretched brother. He certainly didn’t think he deserved such a fuss, but probably may have thought his brother would be better off being served with the fullness of his father’s justice. Yet here he was, the prodigal son, being given the fullness of his father’s mercy instead. Maybe we can relate to this older brother? The point being, though we in our sins deserve eternal death and banishment from the very Holy face of God, yet God in His great love for us has willed that we should have eternal life with Him. He has given us His Divine Merciful Love as proof that if we would receive it, there is no evil that we could do that is so great that it could not be overcome and forgiven by Our Lord. None.
O dearest Heavenly Father, help us to remember the sufferings and passion of Your Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, as He died on the cross for our sins so that we might have everlasting life with You for all eternity. And may we choose to receive Your freely given Divine Mercy that covers over any and all evil we could ever commit, no matter what it is, no matter what! Praise You forever Lord, praise You forever!