Our Lord explained the importance of this Feast to St Faustina: “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.”
And so……what is God trying to tell us through this Feast Day? It is simply this – that God loves us unconditionally….. regardless of our many faults and failings. He wants us to come back to Him, to draw closer to Him, and to trust in His love.
Jesus said He wants today’s feast to be “a shelter & refuge” for all souls. Jesus told St Faustina, “I will pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy.”
The Good News is that our God longs for a personal relationship with each one of us. He is not a distant God. He never abandons us. God wants us to freely believe this and to trust in His Goodness. Recall what is written on the bottom of the Divine Mercy Image, “Jesus I Trust in You.”
He wants us to know that it is our lack of trust which offends Him more than our sins. Think of this in the context of a parent. A parent would be far more hurt by a child’s lack of trust, or if you like, a child’s lack of belief in the parent’s goodness…..than by any mistakes or sins the child might commit.
And therefore in His great love, God gives us this beautiful feast day. He promises us that if we come to mass, receive Holy Communion, confess our sins with a sorrowful heart, and venerate His Image…..then we will receive what is effectively a second baptism. This is what we also call a plenary indulgence……in other words…….. any satisfaction that may be due for our sins after we die (up to this point in our lives), is washed away. Today’s feast makes us like newly baptized babies!
As recipients of God’s mercy, we then become apostles of His Mercy…….
Do you remember when our Our Lord said “when someone has been given much, much will be required in return?” As people who are receiving a lot from God today, He wants us to do what He asked St Faustina: “tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy”.
The world can become a dark and hopeless place for some. You can bring the light and give hope, by giving witness to God’s mercy. We all need to know that we are loved and that by turning to Jesus, we will experience a peace and joy, that the world cannot give. The truth is God wants us to flourish. He doesn’t want to limit or restrict us. He wants us to be happy, and fulfilled. He wants us to thrive.
The truth is that we become happy and fulfilled, and experience peace, by entering into a loving relationship with God. Nothing in this world can give us this peace and fulfillment we crave.
But, you may ask…. how can we spread this Good News of God’s Mercy?
You and I spread God’s mercy by how we live our lives. As St John said we can’t see God, but we encounter Him in a profound way through each other. Our acts of charity are far more effective that our words. Think of Mother Theresa and how the whole world mourned her passing. Her acts, not words, touched the world. When we reach out to the poor and vulnerable of society, or when we visit the sick and the elderly, or when we forgive, we change the world and banish the darkness and hopelessness. This is what will give people real hope…. as they will have an encounter with Christ’s mercy through you.
We need not worry if at times this seems too hard, as we are never alone. Jesus told St Faustina…. “My daughter do whatever is in your power to spread devotion to my mercy. I will make up for what you lack.”