Divine Mercy Sunday

04-23-2017HomiliesDeacon John Navaretta

Today's feast is unique because it is believed to be the only feast based on "A Divine Revelation" to a single individual, one person. When our Lord, for seven years, continually appears to a Polish woman named Helen Kowalska. At the age of about twenty, Helen enters a congregation of nuns known as "Our Lady of Mercy". They cared for and educated troubled young girls. The nuns rename Helen Faustina now known as St. Faustina.

God throughout "Our Salvation History" consistently sends messengers to us; because of His great love for us. St. Faustina is such a messenger. From 1931 to 1938 Jesus appears to her, with the "Hope" that she can rekindle in the hearts of all of us who fall; a renewed and stronger love for the "Crucified Christ". It is through our love for Jesus that we will never waiver or loose our trust, in God's "Infinite Mercy" and "Divine Goodness".

In a "Vision" our Lord visits St. Faustina wearing a radiant "White Garment. Jesus has His right hand poised "To Bless" and His left hand touching the place where the spear "Pierced His Heart". Two rays emanate from His wound, one red, and the other white. While St. Faustina is gazing upon this vision within her soul she hears the following words, "These rays issue from the depths of "My Tender Mercy" when "My Agonizing Heart" is pierced by the lance. The two rays symbolize water and blood; Water to cleanse the soul and blood to nourish the soul. You are to paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature "Jesus I Trust in Thee". If you look to your left hand side, at about the middle of our church, you will find a large picture of this image hanging on the wall.

Over time, as Jesus talks to St. Faustina about this "Image", she hears the words, "I Promise that the Soul, who venerates this Image, will not perish. I Promise victory over its enemies already here on earth especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own Glory. I Desire that this Image be Venerated, first in your chapel, then throughout the world. Blessed is the soul who will dwell in their shelter. For the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. By the means of this Image I shall grant many Graces to Souls. This "Image" shall recall the demands of "My Mercy. As even the strongest faith is of no avail for "Salvation" without works".

About four years after St. Faustina starts to have these visions; she sees an Angel preparing to chastise a certain city because of its many sins. She begins to pray for God to spare the city but her prayers have no effect. As she nears despair St. Faustina suddenly sees an Image of the Holy Trinity and feels a surge of grace pouring into her soul. At the same time she hears the following words within her being. "Eternal Father I offer thee the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of thy Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ; in Atonement for my sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of "His Sorrowful Passion" have mercy on us and on the whole world". As St. Faustina repeats these words she sees the avenging angel become helpless to accomplish his work and the city is spared.

Then the Lord tells her that "This prayer will serve to appease my wrath. You will recite it for nine days on the Beads of the Rosary in this manner. First: Say the Our Father, a Hail Mary, and the Apostles Creed. Then on the Our Father Beads say 'Eternal Father I offer Thee the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Thy Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for my Sins and those of the whole world'. Then on the Hail Mary Beads say 'For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion have Mercy on us and on the whole world'. In conclusion, three times recite 'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One have Mercy on us and on the whole world".

This method of prayer is known as "The Divine Mercy Chaplet". Every Friday here at Our Lady of the Lake at 3:00 pm, we have a Holy Hour; which includes Exposition of the Lord, Adoration, this 'Divine Chaplet of Mercy', which is what we are now talking about, and Benediction.

In September 1935 St. Faustina receives the following promises for those who recite this "Divine Chaplet of Mercy". "Whoever will recite it, even the most hardened sinner will receive 'Great Mercy' at the hour of death. I want the whole world to know my infinite mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in "My Mercy".

Today's response to our Psalm tells us "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is Good, his Love is everlasting.