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Divine Mercy Sunday

In 2001, St. John Paul II designated the Second Sunday of Easter each year as Divine Mercy Sunday. This celebration takes on new meaning in the Eucharistic Revival, for the Eucharist is the enduring Presence of the Merciful Jesus in our lives and our world.

Devotion to the Divine Mercy is simply a focus on an essential part of the perennial Gospel truth: we who have been saved by the mercy of God are to live lives that reflect his mercy to others. Sometimes this is done in asking and receiving forgiveness; sometimes in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; sometimes in our perseverance in the face of difficulties.

The need for God’s mercy is so abundant and clear in our troubled world. We think of the people of Ukraine, where war continues to ravage the land. Victims of violence, natural disaster, oppression and persecution fill the news so often we may become numb to the human suffering so widespread. The destruction of innocent human life, at any point on the spectrum from conception to great age, remains a cry for mercy that must not go silent from the “people of life and for life,” as John Paul called the Church.

For those unfamiliar with the devotion, I include above one familiar rendering of the vision of Jesus in his 1931 appearance to the Polish nun, Saint Faustina Kowalska (of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy): his right hand raised in blessing, his left hand pointing to his Sacred Heart, from which flow two rays of light. The red rays symbolize his Precious Blood poured out for our salvation from the depths of his divine Mercy, and the white symbolize the purifying waters of Baptism. Jesus asked her to display this image in her convent chapel, above the words: “Jesus, I trust in You.”

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a prayer able to be offered in a short time but beautiful in its simplicity. It is prayed on ordinary Rosary beads as follows:

- Begin with one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Apostles’ Creed.

- On each of the large (the “Our Father”) beads, pray:

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

- On each of the small (“Hail Mary”) beads, pray: “For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

- At the end of the five decades of these prayers, pray three times:

“Holy God, Holy mighty One, Holy immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

All are invited to the observance of Divine Mercy Sunday at St. Mary’s Cathedral, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Come to share prayer, talks, the opportunity for confession, and adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Paul, the Apostle of Christ

A reminder that our cluster will host a screening of the recent movie Paul, the Apostle of Christ this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Marcus Cinema. It will be followed by refreshments and a discussion on the movie at the St. Anthony’s Parish Center. Even if you cannot join us for the movie – perhaps you have already seen it, or will see it soon – feel free to come to the conversation.

Fr. Tom

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