Let us beg for more of God’s love and power on us and the whole world.
Acts 5:12-16; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; Rev 1:9-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31
Well friends in our Risen Jesus Christ, we are finishing our nine days of Easter Solemnity. At the daily Masses we have been reading all of the Easter Sunday stories as we have looked at the times, places, people and what Jesus said and did on those occasions. Most of them are thrilling stories which give us a better picture of what happened that first Easter. All of the New Testament books were written after Pentecost when the community of Jesus had been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to go out and continue Jesus’ work of saving humanity. We are believers because of what they proclaimed in a mighty way.
This Gospel of St. John is read every year on this second Sunday after Easter. There are two stories related. One is late on Easter evening after Cleopas and Luke had returned from Emmaus to tell the others how they recognized Jesus at the “breaking of the bread.” Jesus then appeared to all of them that he was alive. Then Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit and the power of to forgive sins. Changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus and taking sins away are the two most important things priests do. Amazing grace. Amen!
For me, what is more important about this Sunday is what Jesus asked Pope St. John Paul II to do with this Sunday. Jesus wanted it named Divine Mercy Sunday. Mercy means God’s extraordinary love for us. So when you see mercy, think of his LOVE. Jesus reminds us of the many channels of divine power that he has given us to use in our life in helping him make the world a better place to live in, to love others as he did.
These are the major things Jesus wants us to know and use frequently:
1) Jesus reminds us that the greatest prayers and sacraments are Mass and Reconciliation (confession).
2) We have a new picture of Jesus with rays of his love flowing from his pierced heart on the cross. He asks us to get on one of those rays, a highway, and come into his heart full of love for all people.
3) We have this new “feast” to celebrate God’s love for us, Divine Mercy Sunday.
4) We have a “new rosary,” the chaplet of Divine Mercy. It only takes five minutes to say and it is directly to God, our Father and Jesus.
5) We are given a new 9-day novena of bringing a different group of people each day to Jesus, asking him to immersing them in his loving heart.
6) Next to the Mass, the great hour of prayer is at 3 p.m., the time Jesus died on Cross for us. If you can’t do it them you can pray the chaplet any time for whatever intention you want to pray for. Each weekend I pray one for all those who will preach that weekend. Often I say one for the conversion of the terrorists.
7) Jesus required that as we have received his Mercy, we are to be loving and forgiving to others. In the past we referred to this extension of God’s mercy as the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.
8) Jesus also wanted us to take advantage of having all of our sins and the temporal punishment due to those sins taken away on this day. That is what a plenary indulgence is (See note below). Yet as we look at the guidelines for this indulgence we can gain one every day, one for ourselves, and then apply other indulgences to forgotten souls in purgatory.
Jesus gave these directives to St. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s in Poland. St. John Paul II approved them and promulgated them as great means of drawing down on the human race more of his great love for us. Through these channels we go directly to Jesus in our prayer. I love these and use them daily. I pray today for great blessings on you, your families, our country and all the terrorists in the world. Pope Francis has called for this year to be the Year of Mercy. I think to beg God to convert the terrorists. We certainly need all of God’s love that we can get. We are about being filled with his love and going out to love others. Amen!
Jesus also gave us a new Novena of Divine Mercy. Initially it was from Good Friday until the Saturday after Easter. Each day Jesus wanted us to bring a different group of souls to him for special blessings. As I looked at his intentions and the problems in our world today, when I finish nine days I start all over again. I beg Jesus to pour out more love on that group of people. As thousands of us daily pray the chaplet and this novena we can expect great divine power to flow. It is awesome. If you haven’t started, begin now. Amen! There are more parts to Jesus’ messages to the world through St. Faustina, but enough for now. May this Easter season thrill you with more of the wonder of Christ’s love for you. Great Easter blessings,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz)
Note: A Plenary Indulgence can be gained for attending a Divine Mercy service on April 3 or saying any particular Divine Mercy prayer along with the usual conditions of Mass, confession within about 20 days and some prayers said for the Holy Father, Our Father and the Apostles Creed.