We are entering into Holy Week, the most important week in the Liturgical year. In this week we remember and re-live how Christ showed his deep love for us by his suffering, death, and resurrection. He did not have to die. God certainly does not need human beings in Heaven. We add nothing to his greatness. Nor is he in need of our relationship in any way since the Trinity is already a perfect relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Divine Love shows its immensity in such surprising fashion as Christ lays aside his glory in order to be a Suffering Servant, a crucified King, a loving Redeemer. He chose suffering, humiliation, and death simply out of love for us. What greater sign of love could there ever be than God crucified to save unworthy sinners from his just judgment?
His pouring out of Divine Mercy should lead to a pouring out of our lives for him in return. As he emptied himself for our sake we should choose to give all to him with the same love and devotion which Christ had when he said “yes” to the Father’s plan of salvation. Let us hold nothing back in loving Him! Whatever may stand between you and God, this is the week to surrender and remove it. By the sacrifice of Christ on the cross the power of sin and death is broken. Let us live in this freedom!
Divine Mercy Sunday
On Good Friday we begin already to look forward to Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter) on which the reservoir of God’s mercy is poured out on all who seek it. As Jesus said to St. Faustina, “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. 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 flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet”.
On Divine Mercy Sunday an indulgence may be obtained so that all of the temporal punishments due to our Sacramentally forgiven sins, which would normally be paid for through our prayers, sufferings, sacrifices, or in Purgatory, are forgiven by God. Should we die immediately after a worthy celebration of this feast day our soul would fly directly to Heaven.
- In the Sacrament of Baptism not only is the guilt of sin remitted, but also all the penalties attached to sin. In the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) the guilt of sin is removed, and with it the eternal punishment due to mortal sin; but there still remains the temporal punishment required by Divine justice, and this requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in the world to come, i.e., in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during his life on earth.
- (For a fuller understanding of this see Catechism of the Catholic Church 1471-1479)
I encourage you to enter into this devotion by looking up how to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which we will begin on Good Friday after the service. All are welcome to pray the chaplet in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday. I invite you all to join in celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at the service we will have at St. Michael’s Parish 3-4pm. We will have Adoration of the Bl. Sacrament, a teaching on Divine Mercy, devotional prayers to fulfill the obligation for the indulgence, and confessions for all those seeking God’s abundant mercy.
Fr. Matthew Chojna