Holy Week has begun! Many wonderful truths of our Catholic faith come from the first Holy Week 2,000 years ago. On Holy Thursday, Jesus changed the common elements of bread and wine into His own living Body and Blood. He also ordained the apostles as the first priests of the Church in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Mass until the end of time. Our Lord offered His human life to His heavenly Father, to be accomplished on Calvary, when He would bleed to death in order to restore eternal life to a fallen humanity. Jesus triumphs over death by His resurrection on Easter.
One week after Easter Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of Divine Mercy. During Lent many of us have been praying daily the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. On Good Friday, we begin another aspect of the devotion. The powerful Novena of Divine Mercy. In 1937, Jesus gave us, through St. Faustina, this novena and explained it to her. “On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father. You will do this in this life and in the next. I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day, you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls” (Diary 1207). We will be praying this Novena at the Holy Week Services and after all the Masses leading up to the Feast of Divine Mercy.
Throughout her Diary, St. Faustina records seeing visions of Jesus as He is painted in the Image of Divine Mercy. Jesus told St. Faustina, “I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy” (Diary 327). Jesus told St. Faustina, “My gaze from this image is like My gaze from the cross” (Diary 326). This Image is also an essential part of the Feast of Mercy. Jesus requested, “I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy” (Diary 49). At St. Mary in Dekalb, we will solemnly bless our newly installed image of Jesus on this day (Sunday, April 27).
The most wonderful aspect, however, of the Divine Mercy Devotion is the promise attached to the Feast Day: Jesus said, “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates, through which grace flows, are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity (Diary 699). If you have not been to confession in the last few weeks strive to do it now in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday.
Our Schedule for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27: Eucharistic Adoration 1:00 -3:30 PM; Sacrament of Confession 1:00 – 3:00 PM; Singing of the Chaplet – 3:00 PM; Solemn Blessing of Image of Divine Mercy and prayers of consecration – 3:30. No matter what Mass you attend on this weekend, make the intention of receiving the full remission of all punishment due to sin when receiving Holy Communion. “O Jesus I want to receive all the promises attached to Divine Mercy Sunday.”
God bless you with His Merciful Love,
Fr. Jim Parker