Divine Mercy Sunday

04-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! Today the Church invites us to celebrate the beautiful devotion to celebrate the infinite, undeserved outpouring of God’s Love for us. This devotion is a powerful one and one that’s quickly gained popularity in the life of the Church. The Divine Mercy devotion comes from a series of visions and locutions that Jesus gave to St. Maria Faustina Kowalski during the 1930’s and 40’s in Poland.

She records these visions in her diary and this devotion was quickly picked up by another saint who championed this devotion and actually added today’s feast to the liturgical calendar, Pope St. John Paul the Great! The message Christ offers the world through her is one of tender love, a refuge for sinners, and a great manifestation of Christ’s love for each of us.

For me, this devotion became a regular part of my spiritual life after reading her diary while in seminary. What struck me the most was how often Christ reveals His desire and joy to gift us His mercy in the sacrament of confession. In confession, He teaches, through St. Faustina, the graces we receive while making a sacramental confession. Particularly striking to me was how Christ speaks regularly of how He died for us specifically for the forgiveness of our sins and visiting Him in confession enables us to stand with Mary and John the Apostle at the foot of the Cross and immerse ourselves in the graces won for us at Calvary. This transformed confession for me to the point that I now go to confession once a week! Confession isn’t just about “the big sins” but rather is about showering oneself in grace so that we can more radically choose Christ daily. His grace also enables us to learn about why we choose the sins we do (even the venial ones) and receive sanctifying grace so that our will and desires gravitate towards Christ.

Today then I’d like to encourage you, if you don’t already do so, make a sacramental confession regularly, at least once every liturgical season (Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time again) and watch how the Lord works slowly but with great precision in order to help us better understand sin and its effects on us (and others) so that we can avoid sins with the help of His grace.

If it’s been a while since your last confession, please come. We’ll help you through it. The Lord waits eagerly for you, to cleanse you of sins. His mercy is infinite and greater than any sin we could ever commit. May we always seek refuge in the Lord’s mercy. Happy Divine Mercy Sunday and may the Lord bestow many graces upon you this day.