Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 10, 2009)
Readings: Is 52:13-53:12; Heb 4:14-16;5:7-9; Jn 18:1-19:42
... one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. Jn 19:34
In his encyclical letter Rich in Mercy, Pope John Paul II wrote that the cross of Christ "speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to His eternal love. ... Believing in the crucified Son means seeing the Father" (7).
Jesus is on the cross as the Son of the Father, loving us in complete union with the Father, offering His life in fulfillment of the Father's plan of mercy for all. "The desire to embrace His Father's plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus' whole life" (Catechism, 607).
But this love of the Father, this love that Jesus shares and reveals on the cross, is not just "for all" in some general, abstract way. It's "for each" in an intimately personal way — the "one-on-one" love of a perfect Father for each child.
This, explained Pope John Paul II, is the message of Divine Mercy, "a message about the value of every human being. Each person is precious in God's eyes; Christ gave His life for each one; to everyone the Father gives His Spirit and offers intimacy" (Rome, April 30, 2000).
What does this mean for you, personally? It means that Christ who, as God, is not subject to time, looked out from the cross and saw you. He saw everything about you: all the details of your life, all your thoughts and actions, all your sin. And He loved you. And then He reached across 2,000 years of time and space, grabbed all your sin, and pulled it into His own body, so that when His body died, all your sin was destroyed with it. "By His wounds, you have been healed" (1 Pet 2:24).
So, when you approach Jesus in the confessional, don't go as if you are trying to wring out forgiveness from a reluctant God. Go in humble gratitude to receive the forgiveness and healing that He has already won for you on the cross.
Thank You, Father, for loving me in spite of my sin and for sending Jesus to die for me. Help me to receive Your mercy with gratitude and learn to love as You do. Amen.