“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” ~ St. Augustine
Today is the Second Sunday of Easter. At least, that is what it was called when I as ordained a priest in May of 1983. However, in April of the year 2000, Pope John Paul II established the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday after the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska who popularized the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as well as other Divine Mercy devotions.
There are many times in our lives that we realize our need for mercy and actively seek it out. When we hurt a friend and are on the outs with that person, we try to do everything in our power to heal the wound that we may have caused by our words or actions. When we mess up at our job or in school, we often seek the mercy of the people who are over us. We want to be whole and knowing that we have done something wrong disturbs the core of our inner peace.
That is the same thing that we do with God as well. There are so many times in our lives, too many to count, where we wound our God by words and deeds. When we do so, we realize that we become unbalanced spiritually and we do what we can to sort things out. We go to confession, we deepen our prayer life, or we perform corporal or spiritual works of mercy.
Seeking mercy is not selfish. Seeking mercy is something that can help to heal us within. If we do not seek the healing that comes from God, we will find ourselves falling into spiritual disarray that may lead to feelings of sadness or depression as well as anxiety.
Knowing that we need to seek the mercy that so freely comes from God, we must acknowledge the fact that we also need to engage in granting mercy to others. There are too many times that we hold things over others. We refuse to forgive those who have wronged us. We harbor grudges against others. Our words and actions, then, become gruff and uncaring. When we withhold mercy from others, we become pitiable messes ourselves.
On this Feast of Divine Mercy, let us ask God to grant us His loving mercy. Let us ask God, as well, to grant us the grace that we need to be merciful to those who have wronged us so that they can come to know the healing love and mercy of God. Mercy Sunday ends the Octave of Easter. What better way to celebrate it than to accept the mercy of God and to share it with others?
FAITH ACTION: Are you holding a grudge against another person for any reason? Make every effort possible to grant mercy to that person today.