ESTACIO: Our God is a God of mercy
April 26, 2022
(Photo by James Ramos/Herald)
It is easy to be discouraged because it can seem as if the resounding voices of the world lead to despair and hopelessness at times. Yet, we are an Easter people! On April 24, the Easter Octave ended on Divine Mercy Sunday. The Catholic Church has a liturgical calendar that ebbs and flows with moments of fasting, such as Lent, but also gifts us times of joyous feasting, such as the Easter Season. We get an entire season to celebrate!
It can be difficult to celebrate and feast with the continuous pandemic and the war on Ukraine on our minds. It is during the Easter Season when we hear from the Acts of the Apostles. We are reminded that the disciples were empowered by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and they did not fear because love casts out all fear.
The Second Sunday of Easter has had different titles throughout Church history, such as White Sunday or Low Sunday. In 2000, Pope John Paul II designated it Divine Mercy Sunday. In a social environment where people attack people without hesitancy or thought online, the message from a private revelation from Jesus Christ to St. Faustina Kowalska of Poland seems helpful and necessary more than ever.
Throughout Sacred Scripture, God is clear that He will not only be just, but He is also a God of mercy.
In the Old Testament, God tells Moses, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Ex 34:6-7).
Look back and read how God treats Adam and Eve when they outright disobey Him. He clothes and takes care of them (Gen 3:21, 24). The great King David commits the sin of adultery but is given mercy because he is repentant (Ps 51). In the New Testament, we read about God’s incomprehensible mercy in the Parable of the Good Shepherd and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
God had a deep desire to be with you because He created you. He adores and loves you! We see this in the message of Divine Mercy. St. Faustina was born to a family of peasants, and she had very little education.
She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, and even though her life looked ordinary from the outside, God was revealing Himself to her. She wrote these private revelations down in a 600-page journal that became known as the book called “Diary of St. Faustina.”
Here are some of the messages from God found in the book:
• “Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God.”
• “My daughter, let nothing frighten or discontent you. Remain deeply at peace. Everything is in My hands.”
• “I am love and Mercy Itself. There is no misery that can match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it because as it is being granted — it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I Myself take care of it.”
Let us run to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ when the going gets tough and we feel burdened — by the world or our sin. Share this message with someone in your family or a young person in your life whom you think needs to hear it. God calls us to receive His mercy, and when we are filled with it, to share that mercy with those around us.
Remember, the pillars of Lent are prayer, almsgiving and fasting. They aren’t meant to be forgotten or practices done only in Lent. All that we do for God is meant to deepen our relationship with Him. We are called each Lent to grow intimately with the Lord. But for now, be joyful, feast, and celebrate because the Lord has truly risen.
O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:55-57).
JESUS, WE TRUST IN YOU!
Dunn Estacio is an associate director of the Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization.