Parishes in our Diocese that Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday - 2016

Diocese of Columbus Jubilee Year of Mercy

Sunday, 13 December 2015, 10:30am Mass
3rd Sunday of Advent: Opening of the Cathedral Holy Door for the Jubilee Year

The door will remain open for the entire year so that pilgrims may enter and gain a plenary indulgence.

"24 hours for the Lord"

Friday.4 March 2016 to Saturday, 5 March 2016
Pope Francis is inviting every parish around the world to open its doors for 24 hours so that the faithful might encounter Jesus Christ anew in the Sacrament of Confession and Eucharistic Adoration.

The Lenten Initiative, organized by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, is called “24 Hours for the Lord”. It is intended also to be a time of reflection and prayer, an opportunity to speak with a priest, and a chance to rediscover- or perhaps discover for the first time- the great mercy at the heart of the Catholic Faith.

Sunday, 20 November 2016, 10:30am Mass
Solemnity of Christ the King: Closing of the Cathedral Holy Door

Unfortunately some people seem to think that this Year of Mercy is simply an invitation to increase our efforts to be 'nice' and 'tolerant.' However, the love that Jesus embodied is lightyears beyond a hum drum feeling of niceness.

We see this most perfectly in Jesus’ resurrection. After the power of God’s love definitively conquered sin and death, Jesus sought out His disciples to offer them the peace of His mercy. Jesus came looking for them. He met the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The apostles were shocked as Jesus walked through locked doors to banish their fear and disbelief. Jesus could have sat outside the tomb and waited for the apostles to come to meet Him. But His love was and action; He took the initiative to go to meet them. He desired to comfort their frightened hearts and to forgive their guilty consciences. Jesus’ merciful love was missionary.

The Divine Mercy image beautifully depicts Jesus’ burning zeal to pour out His mercy upon humanity. On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and gave her a special mandate. In this vision He wore a white robe which was drawn slightly aside at the breast. From His Heart emanated red and white rays symbolizing the blood and water which gushed forth when, on the cross, His Heart was pierced by a lance. These rays represent His all-powerful love which is poured out upon the world as well as the Sacraments which gives us to life. Jesus requested that St. Faustina paint this image so that many people could draw grace from this picture.

In the past 85 years, the Divine Mercy image has become one of the most well-known images of Jesus. One of the most striking aspects of this devotion is that it captures the great movement of the Heart of God in our day. In this image we see that once again Jesus is drawing us, begging us to come to receive the love of His Heart. But this image also depicts Jesus walking toward us. Jesus is inviting us to receive His mercy but it seems that this invitation has a certain impatience and urgency. Perhaps Jesus knows we are too wounded, too heavy laden and too stuck in sin to come to Him in order to seek mercy. He is coming to us!

Divine Mercy image

We need to do something more as Catholic Christians during this year of mercy than being just nice, we need to go out of our comfort zone and embrace our neighbor in need.

Our Lord lets us know on the Day of Judgment what will happen to those who sit around and do nothing.

Matthew 25:41-46
(Verse 41) Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from me you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' (Verse 45) 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of the least of these, you did it not to me.' (Verse 46) '. . . and they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.'

(Scripture quote taken from second edition RSV Ignatius Bible)

[ CLICK on image below for larger image ]

Divine Mercy Sunday poster