On this Second Sunday of Easter, the Church also celebrates the Feast of Divine Mercy. Pope Saint John Paul II instituted this observance at the Canonization of Saint Faustina Kowalska on April 30 in the Jubilee Year 2000. In subsequent years, this feast has grown rapidly because, in our times, the need is so great to know and experience the Lord’s Mercy.
In November 1980, John Paul II issued the second encyclical of his pontificate, Dives in Misericordia (“Rich in Mercy”), in which he wrote:
As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!
Now, almost forty years later, these words still ring true – maybe even more so now! The Mercy offered us from God is one that we, in turn, need to manifest in our words and deeds. The gift of reconciliation, forgiveness, compassion and peace are no necessary in our divided world today. I hope that you will come to our Cathedral Parish’s Divine Mercy devotions this Sunday afternoon beginning at 3:00 p.m. and fervently pray for this grace in our time.