How to Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday
Be Merciful As Your Heavenly Father Is Merciful, Part 1
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity - greedy, dishonest, adulterous - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18: 10-14)
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; But with enduring love I take pity on you, says the Lord, your redeemer” (Isaiah 54: 7-8)... “My love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54: 10)
Mercy and Sin.
The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of Godís mercy to sinners. The angel announced to Joseph: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” The same is true of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Redemption: “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
“God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us.” (St. Augustine) To receive His mercy, we must admit our faults. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn 1:8-9) New Catechism #1846-184
During Mass just before the Minor Elevation, we pray: Though we are sinners, we trust in your mercy and love. Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness. Through Christ our Lord.
Our Lord Speaks:
“I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.Ē (Diary 687) “I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of grace that it cannot be contained within itself, but radiates to other souls.” (Diary 1074)
What is a Sacramental?
“Sacramentals are signs bearing certain likeness to the sacraments, by which spiritual affects are signified and obtained by the intercession of the church.” (Cannon 1166) Examples are holy water, scapulars, medals, and rosaries. Others are actions like blessings and exorcisms. These differ from the seven sacraments Christ instituted. Whereas the church institutes sacramentals, it can also abolish them. The graces received by Sacramentals depends on the heart of the individual and the intercession of the church or prayers.
Christ is always present in the sacraments no matter what our belief is or where our heart is, but in the sacramentals we experience Christ only on our disposition and the churchís prayers, so remember, sacramentals are secondary. The sacraments are first.
What is a Sacrament?
Sacraments are outward signs instituted by Christ that give the grace they signify. Sacraments produce grace (Godís life).
What is a Devotion?
Readiness and willingness to dedicate oneís self to the service of God, an abandonment to God in prayer and openness to His call.
Simple childlike prayer is very pleasing to Godóto talk to God simply as would a child. We all have experienced in our lives a time when prayer becomes hard and there seems like there is not enough time to pray with such a busy day and the demands of our family and work. Our Lord understands these busy times in our lives and to help us in our prayer life our Lord throughout the ages has sent His Mother, the Saints, Prophets and many of His heavenly friends to bring us special devotions to help us in our prayer life. Devotions become the gas for a soul running out of gas, fuel to make it to our destination (heaven). Devotions will refuel your soul to get back in the driver seat and continue on your journey to heaven. Our Lord gave us His church and its riches to help us. Why not use the sacramentalís and devotionals that are available to help you draw closer to God, holy scripture and the Sacraments?
Sinners first need to repent and commune with God, then the works of mercy and devotionals will come into play.
When putting the horse in front of the buggy, we first need the conversion of heart to confess oneís sins to come back to God. All are sinners. All are wounded. Letís stop judging them and letís pray and lead them home.
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Laity for Mercy
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Columbus, Ohio 43228