My Lord, My God

Second Sunday of Easter: Feast of Divine Mercy

February 22, 1931

47. In the evening when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside from at breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world.

48. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.

49. …My image is already in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Image of Divine Mercy

divinemercy_vilnius

313. Once when I was visiting the artist [Eugene Kazimirowki] who was painting the image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this deep in my heart. When we had left the artist’s house, Mother Superior [Irene] stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I said to the Lord, “Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?” Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Message of Divine Mercy
Ask for mercy; be merciful to others; completely trust in Jesus

965. Jesus looked at me and said, Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My Mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My Mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

699. My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. 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. …On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47

They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Epistle: 1 Peter 1:3–9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel of the Day: John 20:19–31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Mini Homily: Mercy Heals a Wounded Heart

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Questions of the Day

  • What obstacle prevents you from believing in Jesus?
  • Are you present to the presence of Jesus?

502. Only love has meaning; it raises up our smallest actions into infinity.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

I forgave your entire debt

First Question of the Day

Is there some offense I don’t have to forgive?

Scripture of the Day

Old Testament: Sirach 28:2–4

Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Does anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Can one refuse mercy to a sinner like oneself,
yet seek pardon for one’s own sins?

Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

Note: Some translations of The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant are more specific about the amount the debtor owed his king: 10,000 talents. “Huge sum” is too easily misunderstood. A laborer earned one denarius for a day’s labor. It would take 15 to 20 years of work to pay back one talent. The point is that the amount is a sum that a man could never pay back. We can never make full reparation for the damage our sin has caused. God tells us that the measure we use for others is the measure he will use for us.

Video of the Day
Immaculee Ilibagiza keynote speech at the 2017 Women’s Conference

Prayer of the Day

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

More Questions of the Day

  • With whom are you most angry?
  • Is there someone we need to forgive or need to ask to forgive us?

Mercy Quote

Tell sinners that no one shall escape My Hand; if they run away from My Merciful Heart, they will fall into My Just Hands. Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them, that I listen intently to the beating of their heart… when will it beat for Me? Write, that I am speaking to them through their remorse of conscience, through their failures and sufferings, through thunderstorms, through the voice of the Church. And if they bring all My graces to naught, I begin to be angry with them, leaving them alone and giving them what they want. — Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina, #1728

Lenten Action

Make a good confession. Have your entire debt forgiven, and then go and do likewise.

Christ came to save sinners

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them”

On this fifteenth anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania, may we humble ourselves for some minutes in silence, followed by prayer for the souls of the dead and prayer for God’s mercy on their families. Let us also have the generosity and courage to pray for those who commit acts of violence, especially those who are in such grave error as to kill innocent people, because they think it will please their God and earn them rewards in heaven.

May we turn to the daily scripture readings for wisdom and discover the love of our merciful God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Moses; the Father who sent his only begotten Son, Jesus, for he so loved us sinners.

In today’s Old Testament reading from Exodus (32:7–11, 13–14), Moses reminds God that these sinful people who turned away from him are indeed His people. Moses pleads on their behalf and the Lord turns from his wrath. Like Moses, let us plead, too, on behalf of sinners and those in error, cognizant first and foremost of our own sin and God’s desire to heal and restore, that God will show us mercy.

Psalm 51 is King David’s cry of repentance after he sinned with Bathsheba. With David, may we ask the Lord to create for us clean hearts that God’s presence may be among us and that we may be filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

In the New Testament reading Saint Paul admits how he once acted out of ignorance in his unbelief, which caused him to lead a life of violence and persecution of Christians. We, too, have been ignorant and acted from our ignorance, as did and do Islamic terrorists.

Beloved:
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

— Saint Paul, Letter to Timothy 1:12–17

In the Gospel reading from Luke (15:1–32), Jesus explains in his parable style who God the Father is (and who we are—lost sheep crying out, lost coins who don’t know they are lost, and sons who outright turn away from the Father who shares everything with us). The Pharisees and Scribes (the ones who are ready to stone a woman for adultery, but manage not to capture the man also caught in the act) are complaining about the kind of people Jesus spends his time with. But that is our God who loves us and is full of mercy, ready to welcome us home. Let us rejoice with grateful hearts in the Father’s house.

May God’s peace be upon America this day and always. Saint Paul, pray for us, and for all who commit acts of violence out of error and unbelief.

Forgiveness: our direct route to heaven

Forgiven Debts We Cannot Pay
Pope Francis’ Meditation on the Pardon of Assisi

Forgiveness — pardon — is surely our direct route to that place in heaven. How hard it is to pardon! How much effort it takes for us to forgive others! Let us think about this.

Here at the Porziuncola everything speaks to us of pardon! What a great gift the Lord has given us in teaching us to forgive – or at least to try to forgive – and in this way to touch the Father’s mercy! We have heard the parable in which Jesus teaches us to forgive (cf. Mt 18:21-35).

Why should we forgive someone who has offended us?

Because we were forgiven first, and of infinitely more. There is no one here who has not been forgiven. Let each of us reflect on this… Let us reflect in silence on the wrong we have done and how the Lord has forgiven us.

The parable tells us exactly this: just as God has forgiven us, so we too should forgive those who do us harm. This is the caress of forgiveness. A forgiving heart caresses. It is far removed from the attitude of: “You’ll pay for this!” Forgiveness is something other.

So it is with the prayer that Jesus taught us, the Our Father, in which we say: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Mt 6:12). The debts are our sins in the sight of God, and our debtors are those whom we, for our part, must forgive.

Pope Francis’ meditation at Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels, Porziuncola – Assisi, August 4, 2016

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. — Jesus, Matthew 5:7

News and Info

Father, I have sinned against…”

Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. — Jesus, John 20:22–23

So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. — Jesus, Luke 7:47

Wrap us in your divine mercy, O God

Prayer for Peace and Protection From Violence and Terrorism

O almighty and merciful God, Lord of the universe and of history. All that You have created is good and your compassion for the mistakes of mankind knows no limits.

We come to You today to ask You to keep in peace the world and its people, to keep far away from it the devastating wave of terrorism, to restore friendship and instill in the hearts of your creatures the gift of trust and of readiness to forgive.

O Giver of life, we pray to You also for all those who have died as victims of brutal terrorist attacks. Grant them their eternal reward. May they intercede for the world that is torn apart by conflicts and disagreements.

O Jesus, Prince of Peace, we pray to You for the ones who have been wounded in these acts of inhuman violence: children and young people, old people and innocent people accidentally involved in evil. Heal their bodies and hearts; console them with Your strength and, at the same time, take away any hatred and a desire for revenge.

Holy Spirit Consoler, visit the families of the victims of terrorism, families that suffer through no fault of their own. Wrap them in the mantle of Your divine mercy. Make them find again in You and in themselves the strength and courage to continue to be brothers and sisters for others, above all for immigrants, giving witness to Your love by their lives.

Touch the hearts of terrorists so that they may recognize the evil of their actions and may turn to the way of peace and goodness, of respect for the life and for the dignity of every human being, regardless of religion, origin, wealth or poverty.

O God, Eternal Father, in Your mercy hear our prayer which we raise up to You amidst the deafening noise and desperation of the world. We turn to You with great hope, full of trust in Your infinite Mercy. Made strong by the examples of the blessed martyrs of Perú, Zbigniew and Michael, who have rendered courageous testimony to the Gospel, to the point of offering their blood, we entrust ourselves to the intercession of Your Most Holy Mother. We ask for the gift of peace and of the elimination from our midst of the sore of terrorism.

Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

— Pope Francis’ prayer during visit to the Basilica of Saint Francis, Krakow, July 30, 2016 (Vatican)

The doors of mercy remain open to all

A Call to Fast and Cry Out to God

In response to the martyrdom of Father Jacques Hamel, and for all the innocents killed out of hatred for our faith, tomorrow, Friday, July 29, may every Catholic respond to the call of the French bishops to fast and pray.

May we fast out of love for our faith, with sorrow for our sins and gratitude for God’s mercy, which awaits all who desire and seek it.

May we fast for all the times we failed to help those we could have helped, those who looked to us for mercy. Let us in the West repent of our complacency and self-indulgence that made us deaf and blind to the needs of others, most especially Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis killed, enslaved, tortured, and raped by radical Islamic terrorists who desire nothing but violence and domination.

Let us fast on behalf of those elected officials in our federal government who promote and condone the killing of innocent unborn children.

May God fill us with courage to sacrifice whatever we must to build a civilization of love.

May we fast for those who don’t see a need to fast. Let us understand better how to use the passing things of this world to grow in holiness, and to discard all that distracts us from our mission.

May people of all faiths be inspired to join the fast for peace.

May our prayer be bold, hopeful, and expectant that God of Mercy will respond to our unified cry and acts of repentance and heal us.

Questions of the Day
(Damian Thompson article “A priest is slaughtered…“)

  • If I were to mention the Baghdad church massacre of October 31, 2010, how many of them would know what I was talking about? Come to that, how many Catholics are familiar with the details?
  • Will the blood of a martyr spilt on an altar so close to home finally awake Christendom from its torpor?

Old Testament Scripture of the Day:
Isaiah’s Cry on Behalf of the People (64:4; 6–8)

Would that you might meet us doing right,
that we might be mindful of you in our ways!
Indeed, you are angry; we have sinned,
we have acted wickedly,
There are none who call upon your name,
none who rouse themselves to take hold of you;
For you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our crimes.

Yet, Lord, you are our father;
we are the clay and you are our potter:
we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be so very angry, Lord,
do not remember our crimes forever;
look upon us, who are all your people.

Prayer of the Day:
In the Name of the Whole Christian People

We beg you, Master,
be our help and strength.
Save those among us who are oppressed,
have pity on the lowly, and lift up the fallen.
Heal the sick, bring back the straying,
and feed the hungry.
Release those in prison, steady those who falter,
and strengthen the fainthearted.
Let all nations come to know You the one God,
with Your Son Jesus Christ,
and us Your people and the sheep of Your pasture.

Do not keep count of the sins of Your servants
but purify us through the bath of Your truth
and direct our steps.
Help us to walk in holiness of heart,
and to do what is good and pleasing in Your eyes,
and in the eyes of our rulers.

Master, let Your face shine on us
to grant us every good in peace,
to protect us by Your powerful hand,
to deliver us from every evil by the might of Your arm,
and to save us from the unjust hatred of our enemies.
Grant to us and to all who dwell on this earth
peace and harmony, O Lord.

— Saint Clement I (c. 38–101, Roman missionary and fourth pope)
#426, New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book

Verse of the Day: Psalm 51:19

My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn.

The plan of the LORD stands forever

Psalm of the Day: 33
in which the just are invited to praise God

Rejoice, you righteous, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.

Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
on the ten-stringed lyre offer praise.

Sing to him a new song;
skillfully play with joyful chant.

For the LORD’s word is upright;
all his works are trustworthy.

He loves justice and right.
The earth is full of the mercy of the LORD.

By the LORD’s word the heavens were made;
by the breath of his mouth all their host.

He gathered the waters of the sea as a mound;
he sets the deep into storage vaults.

Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all who dwell in the world show him reverence.

For he spoke, and it came to be,
commanded, and it stood in place.

The LORD foils the plan of nations,
frustrates the designs of peoples.

But the plan of the LORD stands forever,
the designs of his heart through all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people chosen as his inheritance.

From heaven the LORD looks down
and observes the children of Adam,

From his dwelling place he surveys
all who dwell on earth.

The One who fashioned together their hearts
is the One who knows all their works.

A king is not saved by a great army,
nor a warrior delivered by great strength.

Useless is the horse for safety;
despite its great strength, it cannot be saved.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him,
upon those who count on his mercy,

To deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive through famine.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
he is our help and shield.

For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.

May your mercy, LORD, be upon us;
as we put our hope in you.

Mikha’el?

Question of the Day

Who is like God?

Scripture-Prayer of the Day
Michah 7:14–15, 18–20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea
all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Mercy is God’s caress

An invitation from Pope Francis
to be God’s mercy in the world

“I want to appeal to all men and women of good will all around the world for a work of mercy to be done in each town, in each diocese, in each association. We, men and women, need God’s mercy, but we also need each other’s mercy.

We need to take each other’s hand, caress each other, take care of each other and not make so many wars. I am looking here at the dossier prepared by Aid to the Church in Need, a papal foundation, to carry out works of mercy in the whole world. I trust Aid to the Church in Need with this work… I also entrust them to carry on the spirit they have inherited from Father Werenfried van Straaten who had the vision at the right time to carry out in the world these gestures of closeness, of proximity, of goodness, of love and of mercy.

So I invite all of you, together with Aid to the Church in Need, to do, everywhere in the world, a work of mercy but one that stays, a permanent work of mercy; a structure for so many needs that there are today in the world. I thank you for everything you do. And do not be afraid of mercy: mercy is God’s caress.”

— Pope Francis

The Gospel of Mercy

Word of the Day

divine mercy: where God’s love meets man’s misery

The Bible presents us with two responses to our sin, weakness, and selfishness: that of Judas and that of Peter. Both betrayed him: Judas sold him to his death for 30 pieces of silver; Peter denied him three times. After these events, the love and mercy of God, through the Son of God, were available to both. Judas chose self-destruction, while Peter endured the painful reality of his humanity and accepted Jesus’ forgiveness.

Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved him (John 21:15–19). “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Again: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” No doubt the anguish of his betrayal of Jesus was fully enflamed when asked a third time, “Do you love me?”

Question of the Day

In spite of betrayal and lack of love, have you chosen mercy?

Will you say with Peter, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you”? Or will you choose the path of Judas: self-destruction and death?

Prayer of the Day: The Heart’s Flight to God

I fly to your mercy, Compassionate God, who alone are good. Although my misery is great, and my offenses are many, I trust in Your mercy, because You are the God of mercy; and, from time immemorial, it has never been heard of, nor do heaven or earth remember, that a soul trusting in Your mercy has been disappointed.

O God of compassion, You alone can justify me, and You will never reject me when I, contrite, approach Your Merciful Heart, where no one has ever been refused, even if he were the greatest sinner.

— Diary of Saint Faustina, Notebook VI, 1730

Quote of the Day

In God’s mercy, all of our infirmities find healing.  His mercy, in fact, does not keep a distance: it seeks to encounter all forms of poverty and to free this world of so many types of slavery.  Mercy desires to reach the wounds of all, to heal them. Being apostles of mercy means touching and soothing the wounds that today afflict the bodies and souls of many of our brothers and sisters.  Curing these wounds, we profess Jesus, we make him present and alive; we allow others, who touch his mercy with their own hands, to recognize him as “Lord and God,” as did the Apostle Thomas.  This is the mission that he entrusts to us.  So many people ask to be listened to and to be understood.  The Gospel of mercy, to be proclaimed and written in our daily lives, seeks people with patient and open hearts, “good Samaritans” who understand compassion and silence before the mystery of each brother and sister.  The Gospel of mercy requires generous and joyful servants, people who love freely without expecting anything in return.

— Pope Francis, Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, 2016