From the Pastor’s desk— April 16, 2023

Divine Mercy Sunday

April 30, 2000, was not just the canonization of St Faustina, it was the day Pope St John Paul II declared the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.   He did that because this was revealed to her and recorded in her diary –

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a 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 are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet… The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy.

For years this feast felt like an interruption to the Octave of Easter, a time to still be focused on the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ, but this year I have come to see that this feast expresses a deeper truth about Jesus’ appearances to the apostles and disciples after Easter.  The disciples’ first response to seeing Jesus was fear, and that is likely because they remember God said in the Hebrew Scriptures, “Vengeance is mine…” Deut 32:35 So it is quite likely that were ready for God’s vengeance on them after having denied and abandoned Him.  And Jesus-God responds to them with mercy. 

So how best should we mark and celebrate this day?  First, as Jesus has asked, by Confession/Reconciliation (if we have not gone in the Lenten Season) and receiving Holy Communion.  Second, it is not just enough to receive mercy, but we must also give mercy through doing acts of mercy; in our Tradition that would be the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

The Corporal Works of Mercy   

To give drink to the thirsty.

To clothe the naked.

To shelter the homeless.

To visit the sick.

To ransom the captive.

To bury the dead.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

To instruct the ignorant.

To counsel the doubtful.

To admonish sinners.

To bear wrongs patiently.

To forgive offences willingly.

To comfort the afflicted.

To pray for the living and the dead.

It is likely we do these things from time to time, but as Jesus told us through St Faustina, TODAY is a day to do these things for greater blessing and peace in our lives.  Happy Easter and may God’s divine mercy be yours.



Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray