Sunday, 17 April 2016 10:19

Divine Mercy Sunday brings faithful to celebration

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divine mercy sundayMore than 400 people came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on April 3 where Bishop Thomas John Paprocki presided at a celebration of the Divine Mercy.

The afternoon prayer service included eucharistic exposition, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Liturgy of the Word, The Praises of the Divine Mercy and the sacrament of reconciliation. Eight priests heard confessions.

“For the past 15 years, the Universal Church has celebrated this Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday,” said Bishop Paprocki. “Pope St. John Paul II extended this devotion to Catholics throughout the world on the occasion of the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, who had received a series of private revelations from Jesus on the subject of his Divine Mercy, one of which was his desire for the establishment of a Feast of Mercy to be celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter.”

“Our Lord told St. Faustina: ‘On that day 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,’” the bishop said during his homily.

“These words of invitation by Our Lord to experience the profound depths of love and mercy are extremely appealing and have been embraced with enthusiasm by the faithful throughout the church,” said Bishop Paprocki. “Much attention is given to the remarkable benefits received by those who devoutly participate in the devotional practices connected with Divine Mercy Sunday, benefits which draw us into a deeper union with Our Risen Lord at the conclusion of this Octave of Easter.”

Bishop Paprocki shared the message of Our Lord in his revelations to St. Faustina, as he told her:

“Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it.”

Bishop Paprocki concluded his homily saying “Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, continues to drive this message home, particularly during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He ardently insists on the importance of not just seeking mercy, but also sharing it, encouraging the church to reflect on and practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. These two sides of Divine Mercy are complementary to one another, for the graces that we receive free us from the attachments to our own selfish ways of living, so that we can better serve the needs of our brothers and sisters. Let us be mindful of this as we continue our celebration on this day dedicated to the message of Divine Mercy. May our hearts be open to receive the graces that Christ and his church offer to us today, and may we then live those graces with greater intensity as we spread the light of this message to the world around us through works of mercy rooted in our love of God and our neighbor.”