Reflection for Divine Mercy Sunday, 2024 Year B

Reflection for Divine Mercy Sunday, 2024 Year B

Apr 15, 2024 | Reflections

Today is the great Feast of God’s unfathomable Mercy!  The crucified and risen Christ brings us forgiveness, peace, healing and communion with others.

The first reading shows a vibrant young Church experiencing peace and communion. The members shared everything they had with each other and the Apostles now full of the Holy Spirit, preached the Gospel and healed the sick. The Church was growing rapidly by the day. The pagans would observe and say: See how these Christians love one another.

The second reading reminds us that if we love God and obey His Commandments, we conquer worldliness, that separates us from God and one another.

In today’s Gospel, the resurrected Jesus appears suddenly in the presence of His Apostles who were behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. A resurrected body is no longer subject to time and space. There are four qualities of resurrected bodies:

  1. subtlety – that complete subjection of the body to the soul;
  2. impassibility – that means immunity to suffering;
  3. agility – freedom from weakness; and
  4. brightness – the outward radiance is in proportion to the degree of holiness.

So, Jesus would have been full of light and this is why the Apostles thought they were seeing a ghost. His first words were: Peace be with you. He then showed them his hands and side. These wounds were the result of the sins of the world, which wound Our Lord. Conversion means changing course, realizing where we have gone off track and repenting. Jesus then said to the Apostles:

 As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. He then breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit, those sins you forgive are forgiven, those sins you retain are retained.

The Holy Spirit is referred to in Scripture as the Breadth of God. Jesus explicitly institutes the Sacrament of Confession, which is also called the Sacrament of Divine Mercy. So, the first charismatic gift given by Jesus to the first Priests and Bishops of the New Covenant was the power to forgive sins. This power is passed down through Sacred Ordination to the Priesthood, in unbroken succession from the Apostles themselves. Jesus urges all to approach this Sacrament on Divine Mercy Sunday: 

Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be a white as snow.

Today’s Feast was requested explicitly by Jesus Himself through the visions of a Polish Nun, Sister Faustina Kowalska, who received a series of visions in the 1930’s, between the two Great Wars. 

St Faustina was born on 25th August 1905, the third of ten children. She was born into a poor, but pious Polish family. She felt a calling to be a Nun at the age of seven, but her parents did not encourage her.  However, she was attending a dance at the age of nineteen when suddenly she received a vision of the suffering Christ. She immediately went to the Cathedral to pray, and Jesus told her to go to Warsaw and enter a Convent. After several rejections at Convents, she was finally accepted by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, on the condition that she raise funds for her religious habit.

In 1931 Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina and He presented Himself as the King of Divine Mercy. He asked for an image to be painted as he appeared wearing an Alb, with rays of mercy coming from His Heart. He asked Faustina to become His secretary and apostle of Divine Mercy. She would have to become a model of mercy towards others. As well as the image, Jesus requested the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a Novena, for which He gave the intentions, to be prayed. St Faustina recorded the messages from Jesus about Divine Mercy in her Diary, which is now available in our Piety Store.  She died in 1938 and was canonized by Pope St John Paul II on 30th April, 2000. The Church offers a Plenary Indulgence for this Feast. 

The message of Divine Mercy is as easy as ABC.

  • A – Ask for mercy. Go to Confession regularly. If you fall, do not remain in serious sin, but approach Jesus in Confession as soon as possible, who is simply hidden by the Priest.
  • B – Be merciful. I demand deeds of mercy. Remember the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy.
  • C – Complete trust. Jesus said: The more you trust, the more you receive. This is so important that Jesus requested the words: Jesus I trust in You to be included beneath the image of Divine Mercy.