Divine Mercy Sunday, perhaps God’s greatest gift of our time.
In the 1930’s Our Lord Jesus requested through Saint Faustina Kowalska that a Feast of Mercy be established and solemnly celebrated in His Church on the First Sunday after Easter every year. The Lord said that this feast would be the “last hope of salvation.”
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated the Sunday after Easter. The great promise of this day is the forgiveness of all sins and punishment due to sin for anyone who would go to Confession and receive Jesus in Holy Communion, on this very special Feast. According to Divine Mercy Productions, one may receive the Sacrament of Confession, also known as Reconciliation, twenty days before or after Divine Mercy Sunday.
In the year 2000, after many years of study by the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, officially established this Feast of Divine Mercy and named it Divine Mercy Sunday. He died on the vigil day of this feast and was beatified on May 1, 2011, on that same feast. And now on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27th, 2014, he will be canonized a saint!
Why would Jesus offer us something so great right now? Jesus told St. Faustina that she was to prepare the world for His Second Coming and that He would be pouring out His Mercy in great abundance as a very last hope of salvation, before He comes again as the Just Judge.
From the Diary of S. Faustina, 699, Jesus said: “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 all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.”
In Saint Faustina’s diary, she recorded that Jesus also indicated that He Himself is there in the confessional. Jesus told her, “When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity.” (1602)
Jesus knew that people would really need to hear these words of re-assurance today, so He went on to say “Come with faith to the feet of My representative…and make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.” (1725)
Many feel that their sins are unforgivable but, Jesus said, “Were a soul like a decaying corpse, so that from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. In the Tribunal of Mercy (the great sacrament of Confession) …the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated.” (1448) “Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy.” (1602)
“Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late.” (1448) “Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace.” (1074) “There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy.” (1273)
By Christine Watkins, inspirational speaker and author of Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession.