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More Special Than Ever — and Here's Why
By Chris Sparks (Mar 22, 2016)
This year, on April 3, Divine Mercy Sunday is even more special than ever.
Sure, it's the feast of the Lord's mercy, the octave day of Easter, the peak of the great feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Sure, it's an extraordinary time of grace and favor from God almighty. Sure, all of that comes every year.
But this year, we are in the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, and the Holy Father has declared Divine Mercy Sunday 2016 the Jubilee for those devoted to the Spirituality of Divine Mercy.
That, my friends and Christian brethren, means a special jubilee just for you.
Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, president of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, has organized a European Apostolic Congress on Mercy to take place in Rome on the days before Divine Mercy Sunday. The central hub of the Church will focus on the message and devotion of Divine Mercy as given through St. Faustina Kowalska this year in the days leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday. This comes in the context of the Holy Father's reference to her by name in the papal bull calling for the Jubilee Year in the first place, as well as his message for the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, where the Holy Father will, among other stops, make a visit to the tomb of St. Faustina Kowalska on the grounds of the international Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki.
This is our year, and Divine Mercy Sunday is our special day in this unique year.
Take the time, then, on this Divine Mercy Sunday to realize just what it is that you and generations of Marian Fathers and Marian Helpers like you have achieved. Not only is Divine Mercy the greatest grassroots movement in the history of the Church; not only is Faustina one of the centermost saints of this Jubilee Year of Mercy; not only have three Holy Fathers in a row celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday with the universal Church since St. John Paul II announced its universal establishment during Faustina's canonization as the first saint of the new millennium; not only is this extraordinary Jubilee Year unthinkable without St. Faustina and St. John Paul II; no, not only all that, but also this: All of us who take part in the practices of Divine Mercy spirituality, who try to live the ABCs of mercy and FINCH, who spread the message and devotion to all we meet, to our families, friends, neighbors, and parishes, all of us who have ever helped spread Divine Mercy have been given a day of jubilee by the Holy Father.
So we thank you, first and foremost, for we couldn't have done all the work that's been achieved here on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, without you. We thank you, Marian Helpers all, who have helped build the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, publish the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska in many languages and editions, successfully petitioned the Holy See to make Divine Mercy Sunday a universal feast day for the Church all across the world, spread the Divine Mercy devotions to every continent, and so much more.
On Divine Mercy Sunday, savor that litany of achievement in the service of Jesus and all our neighbors. Celebrate that. I think this calls for cake, at the bare minimum. More broadly, it means we need to say, "We've made it. Divine Mercy has made it. In spite of misunderstandings and mistranslations that led to an ecclesial ban; in spite of the difficulties facing all devotions in the wake of the cultural confusion in the 60s and 70s; in spite of everything the devil could possibly have thrown at us — Divine Mercy Sunday this year is our day of jubilee!"
So let there be rejoicing! Celebrate with your cenacles and ministries. Do something nice to recognize the long time, die hard Divine Mercy devotees, the ones who got going when the going got tough. Thank those who first introduced you to the message and devotion, and let yourselves be thanked in turn.
This is our day of jubilee, the day the Lord and the Holy Father have made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Got any questions about the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday? Visit thedivinemercy.org/celebrate.