Photo: Felix Carroll
Receive God's Mercy
March 3 — Divine Mercy Sunday
Readings: Acts 2:42-47; 1 Pet 1:3-9; Jn 20:19-31
"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." Jn 20:23
This is Divine Mercy Sunday, the Octave Day of Easter! Great graces are available to those who seek the Lord on the Feast of Mercy. "Divine Mercy Sunday, as the Octave Day of Easter, brings us the fullness of Christ's Resurrection," says Fr. George Kosicki, CSB. "It points back to the first day of our celebration on Easter Sunday, and now to its fullness on the eighth day, the Octave."
So, it is very appropriate that in our key verse from today's Gospel, Jesus gives the apostles the power to forgive sins, telling them, "Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them." After all, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is such a clear and visible sign of the mercy of God.
It's no wonder that when Jesus tells St. Faustina about celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday, He mentions confession: "On that day [Divine Mercy Sunday] the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" (Diary, 699).
Ideally, we should go to confession before Divine Mercy Sunday. Saint Faustina herself went to confession before the feast day. But, for those who have not gone ahead of time, many parishes provide additional priests to hear confessions on the day. Whenever you make your confession, it should help you prepare to receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday. As part of your celebration on the day, also perform a work of mercy and venerate the image of The Divine Mercy, which is of the Risen Christ, based on a vision given to St. Faustina. In all you doon this day, above all, place your complete trust in Jesus.
Lord Jesus, You have given Your Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a fountain of mercy. Grant me the grace of making a good confession, so I may receive You worthily in Holy Communion. Amen. Alleluia!
Diary of St. Faustina
206, 699, 1517