Divine Mercy: Yours for the Asking

Divine Mercy: Yours for the Asking

Several years in the past, the Catholic Church declared the Sunday after Easter “Divine Mercy Sunday.”  So what precisely is “mercy” anyway, and what does it need to do with the Easter season?

Mercy is not only pity.  Neither is it merely sparing somebody the punishment that they deserve.  No, mercy is love’s response to struggling.  When mercy encounters struggling, it in the end seeks to alleviate it.  God the Father is so “wealthy in mercy” (Eph 2:4) that Paul calls him “the Father of all mercies and the God of all consolation” (2 Cor 1:3).

Jesus is the right human picture of the Father’s mercy.  When he meets these affected by starvation, he feeds them.  When he encounters somebody affected by bodily illness, he heals them.

True mercy isn’t superficial, however radical.  And Jesus sees that the deepest struggling in human life, the basis reason behind all different struggling, is sin.  Sin debases us, robbing us of our dignity, weakening and even rupturing our reference to God, our loving Father and the supply of our life.  Sin is not only a transgression of some arbitrary legislation; it creates a wound in us that may fester and, if not attended to, corrupt us fully.  It provides the Prince of Darkness a maintain in our lives that he tries to show into full management of our lives. True mercy seeks to alleviate this deeper struggling that may result in everlasting struggling.

Jesus died to do exactly this.  And the risen Christ instituted the sacrament of penance and reconciliation to use the drugs of mercy, received on Calvary, to every particular person sinner in the mean time of their deepest want.

Wait a minute.  So Jesus, not the Church, established this sacrament?  Where does the Bible say he did that?  Right there, in John’s gospel, on Easter Sunday afternoon. Despite the locked doorways, he stands amidst the apostles and says “As the Father has despatched me, so I ship you.”  Jesus is the unique “apostle” of the Father – the phrase means “one who is shipped.”  As he was despatched on a mission of mercy, so he sends out his “apostles” on the identical mission.  He breathes on them and says “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive males’s sins, they’re forgiven them; in case you maintain them sure, they’re held sure.”  (Jn 20:19-22).

If you have got an issue with the Church intruding on what you suppose must be simply between simply you and God, you’ll need to take that one up with Jesus.  It was his concept. From the appears to be like of this textual content, he gave the apostles and their successors, whom we name bishops, a substantial amount of authority on this matter.  But he additionally gave them a substantial amount of energy.  The similar Holy Spirit liable for bringing order out of chaos (Gen 1) and inflicting a virgin to conceive and bear a son, is breathed upon the apostles.  He is the Spirit of Mercy, the Spirit of therapeutic, the Spirit of reconciliation, liberation and resurrection.

Going to confession is not only assembly an official of the institutional church. It is assembly a person who has been anointed with the Spirit of Mercy to face within the place of Christ (in persona Christi) and function an instrument of the divine doctor.  True, this instrument is himself a sinner in want of mercy. Peter and doubting Thomas make that abundantly clear proper from the beginning. But they’re devices of God’s therapeutic, merciful love, nonetheless.  That is the case whether or not or not they’re sensible counselors and whether or not or not they’re exceptionally holy.

The Spirit Christ breathed on the apostles on the primary Easter afternoon has been handed on to those males via the sacrament of Holy Orders.  That signifies that Christ is the one you meet within the sacrament of confession.  And he comes not simply to forgive, however to heal, to liberate, strengthen and rework.

His merciful love signifies that he died not simply to “cowl our sins,” to wipe them off God’s document e book, leaving us the identical depressing creatures we’d all the time been.  No, his mercy kills the an infection, heals the wound, and breaks the bonds.

In the sacrament of reconciliation, Jesus invitations us penitents, like he did Lazarus, to come back out of the place of darkness and decay.  And he says to his priestly confessors the identical factor he stated to the individuals standing round Lazarus’s tomb: “unbind him, and let him go free!”

That’s divine mercy.  I don’t find out about you, however I would like as a lot of it as I can get!

Image by D Casp from Pixabay



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