The Feast of Mercy: DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY (2nd Sunday of EASTER)
April 18-19, 2020
Our Lord requested the Feast of Divine Mercy through St. Faustina Kowalska (“the Apostle of Mercy”) and desired it to be celebrated on the 1st Sunday after Easter (the Octave Day of Easter). It completes the Easter Mystery of the Redemption: “the suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, followed by the sending of the Holy Spirit.” Pope John Paul II supported this statement by citing Psalm 118:1, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His steadfast love (=mercy) endures forever.” On 4/30/2000 Divine Mercy Sunday was started.
A Special Promise of Mercy is given by Jesus :”to grant a complete pardon (of sins and all of the due punishment) to the souls that will go to confession and receive Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.” A Plenary Indulgence. This is a Special Feast for the “falling away and lost sinners” to come back to the Lord, be completely forgiven, and restored to full communion with God. This is THE time to invite all to come to the Lord. Spread the WORD.
As the readings for this Feast of Mercy speak of forgiveness and mercy, it is appropriate to celebrate and fittingly observe it by: (A) Praying the Novena begining on Good Friday (see Divine Mercy Novena/EWTN or PrayMoreNovenas.com)); (B) Sincerely repenting of all sins, confession (preferably before Sunday), and receiving Holy Communion on the Feast Day; (C) Venerating the image of Jesus of Divine Mercy with the two rays of light shinning from His heart and illuminating the world. The two rays represent the blood and water which flowed from Jesus’ side when it was pierced. The red light recalls the blood of His sacrifice on the cross and the gift of the Eucharist; the white light symbolizes the water of Baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This image reminds us of His love and mercy for us; (D) At the end of Mass, praying for the Plenary Indulgence: Our Father, Apostles Creed, and a prayer for the Pope; and (E) placing our complete trust in Jesus and being merciful to others through our actions, words, and prayer on their behalf. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Mt.5:7. Without deeds of mercy, our devotion would not be real!
Despite the current quarantine, we can still celebrate this feast this year. We can make a private confession by a perfect act of confessing our sins to God, seeking His forgiveness and making a firm commitment to confess our sins to a priest at the earliest possible moment. We can also make a Spiritual communion of Jesus by expressing our desire to receive Him into our heart and soul through a prayer of a desire to do so (see EWTN-spiritual communion prayer).
(see EWTN Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer or go online for this prayer )