Mercy Sunday Packet for Pastors
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The World’s Best Evangelization Tool:
Divine Mercy Sunday
With so many (so-called) Catholics away from the practice of their faith, there is a great need for evangelization. Not only are we all called to actively evangelize all peoples, we are called to bring home our lost and alienated brethren. Our Lord has given us a great gift called Divine Mercy Sunday that if used properly, can restore our Church to overflowing.
Jesus gave us many parables that would set the standard for us to follow. He told us how the Good Shepherd rejoiced at finding His lost sheep. How so many more lost sheep need to be found today. Not only does He rejoice today when the sheep are found, but He is very much saddened when even just one is lost.
In His revelations to Saint Faustina, which He gave for the world, Jesus remarked that “The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness” and that “The flames of mercy are burning Me, clamoring to be spent”(from the diary, entry #1397, 50). If we love Jesus, then we must do everything that we can, to find His lost sheep.
Our Lord has given us a very simple way to bring our lost sheep back home. It is called the “Feast of Mercy” or “Divine Mercy Sunday”. This great feast, which the Church has been celebrating universally since Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina, in the year 2000, has everything in it that we need to restore our Church.
Jesus requested that a Feast of Mercy be established in the Church on the Sunday after Easter and He has made a great promise to any soul that would turn to Him by going to Confession and then receiving Holy Communion on that feast-day.
He said “Whoever approaches the fountain of life on this day will be granted the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment” (Diary, 300). Jesus is attempting to get souls to receive Holy Communion in a perfect state of grace, without sin.
It is quite clear that Jesus wants this particular Sunday to be set apart. Our Lord said “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 will 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”. (Diary, 699)
That’s not all. Jesus said “I want to pour out My divine life into human souls and to sanctify them, if only they were willing to accept My grace. The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy”. (Diary, 1784)
Trust is a key word for Divine Mercy. Our Lord in His great wisdom knew that in these times, the words “Jesus, I trust in You” would have a profound meaning for those who might need some motivation to come to Him and to ask for His mercy.
Our Lord’s placement of the feast on the Sunday after Easter gives pastors the perfect opportunity to address the greatest crowds that attend on Easter Sunday. He knows that many people are looking for a good reason to start coming back to church. What better reason than to be able to start over again with a great promise for the total forgiveness of sins and punishment? Who wouldn’t benefit from that?
Topping that off is the fact that Jesus said that “The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity”. What could be more beneficial? Souls achieving great sanctity for just going to Confession and then receiving Holy Communion on Mercy Sunday? What could be easier? People just need to be seriously urged to go to Confession!
One of the requirements of Catholics is the confession of their sins at least once a year. Studies have shown that most people are in great need of fulfilling this most important precept of the Church. Our Lord said “I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners”. (Diary, 50) What greater reason could there ever be, than Jesus’ promise, to urge everyone into Reconciliation?
The Vatican has also added a Plenary Indulgence to this feast, which is to remain perpetually in place. The beauty of this indulgence is the increased amount of time that is gives to priests to hear confessions. It is allowed for one to go to Confession up to about 20 days, before or after, Divine Mercy Sunday.
It’s so simple. Just remind everyone on Easter, that the following Sunday is a very special feast called Divine Mercy Sunday where they can receive the total forgiveness of their sins and punishment. Sinners will be filled with grace, as Jesus promised, and then they will radiate that love and mercy to others that will cause a ripple effect throughout the Church! What a great gift Jesus has given us!
Sincerely for all souls,
Robert R. Allard, Director
Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
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