April 7 – Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

April 7 – Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

Today, the second Sunday of Easter is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. This day, established by Pope St. John Paul II at the inspiration of St. Faustina, is to particularly remember and commemorate the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ, and to commend the world to his mercy.

You may be familiar with the Divine Mercy image of Christ – revealed to St. Faustina. There is also a prayer called the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy,” invoking Jesus’ mercy on the world with the word, “For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Consider meditating in this image and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy this week.

But when we look to Christ’s mercy, there also arises the question of how one is to live this mercy. And this is where the Church has given us a great practical list of things called the “Works of Mercy.”

There are the seven “Corporal Works of Mercy” attending to people’s physical needs and the seven “Spiritual Works of Mercy” attending to their spiritual needs. I want to make special note and draw attention to the often lesser know spiritual works of mercy, which are:

  1. To instruct the ignorant.
  2. To counsel the doubtful.
  3. To admonish the sinners.
  4. To bear patiently those who wrong us.
  5. To forgive offenses.
  6. To comfort the afflicted.
  7. To pray for the living and the dead

I want to draw attention to this last one. Of course, we can pray on our own, but also there is the importance of praying in Liturgical Prayer at Mass.

I mentioned last week of my sharing in the coordinated outreach effort of the pastors of Franklin County to invite people back to church. As I often hear the question: why do I need to go to Mass when I can just pray on my own?

There are many reasons, but one simple reason is that we do not go to Mass only for ourselves. Our prayer at Mass involves extending the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross into our lives and the world around us, including all those that we pray for! It’s a sacrifice we make on behalf of others and the world! It is a work of mercy, not only in praying for the living and the dead at Mass; but also, we may find that sometimes there are people at Mass we find difficult to deal with. Thus, gathering and praying with them, united in the sacrifice of Christ at Mass with them helps us to also learn to love them better! We “bear patiently those who wrong us” AND “to forgive offenses,” which are two other important spiritual works of mercy!

Thus, don’t just pray on your own, but also, go to Mass! It is a work of mercy!

Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday and Happy Easter!



– Fr. Kevin