I was doing some reading on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013. Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina in the 1930’s and asked her to spread this message of Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II canonized Faustina a saint in 2000 and declared the Sunday following Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday.
The message in a nutshell: It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, no sin is too big for God to forgive if we only bring Him a repentant heart. We are invited to celebrate the day #1 by going to confession, #2 by participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the mass and #3 in venerating the image of Divine Mercy (Jesus, I trust in You!). Those who do so are promised that not only will all of their sins be wiped away, but all punishment (purgatory) will be wiped away as well. You can’t get a better deal than that!
For those who have been away from Church for a while, come on back! Are any of these thoughts keeping you away?
“I don’t get anything out of mass. It’s boring.” or “My children are young and active. I can’t pay attention anyway.”
Jesus wants to give us Himself at mass in the Eucharist. Each time we receive Him, we receive graces – strength for the journey – who couldn’t use that in this world?! Secondly, we owe everything we have to God, our Creator and Provider. We go to give Him the thanksgiving and praise that He is due – not to be “entertained.” The truth is that we all have times when we feel filled with the Spirit and really enjoy mass, and those times when we feel distracted and not very prayerful. This is when discipline kicks in – it takes discipline to be a good disciple!
“I had a bad experience with a church leader/member. I’ve lost faith in the Church because of it. I’m too hurt to go back.”
I know that forgiveness is easier said than done. From experience, I can tell you that only through forgiveness does the forgiver experience true freedom. If you can’t bring yourself to forgive, tell God that you want to forgive, but that it is just too hard. Then ask God to help you to forgive. Begin to pray for the person who hurt you. This is all you need to do – repeatedly if necessary. Forgiveness is often a process, not an event.
Secondly, we must remember that the Church is made up of humans. Human beings will inevitably let us down. Christ is the head of our Church though, and the Church (that’s us) is His bride. Jesus will never let us down. He also promised us that the Church, though greatly tested, would never see its own demise, BECAUSE He is the Head of it. Don’t let human beings keep you away from Christ and His Church.
“I don’t have the time.”
Yikes! There are 168 hours in a week! The third commandment says that we must Honor the Sabbath. The primary (not the only) way we do this is by attending Mass. We must put God above all else in our lives, family second and friends/everything else third. “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you…” Matthew 6:33 God will provide for all our needs, if we just put Him first! God LOVES You and wants a relationship with you. He wants you to love Him in return, but He would never force that on you, because that would not be love – it would be control. What will your response to His great love be?