The Task: To Create Mercy for Others!
The following is the Divine Mercy Sunday homily delivered by Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, provincial superior of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in the United States and Argentina.
In today's Gospel, Jesus looks at his disciples and says, "Peace be with you." Jesus called St. Faustina to be his "secretary" of Divine Mercy in 1931, and until her death in 1938 she continued to receive messages for all the world.
In May 1941, just two and a half years later, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception took up her mantle and began promoting devotion to Divine Mercy. The devotion grew slowly but consistently for 18 years until the Vatican placed a ban on St. Faustina's Diary, primarily because of translation difficulties.
And 15 years later, Pope Paul VI lifted the ban just six months prior to Pope John Paul II's election to the Papacy.
As Archbishop he had introduced the cause of Sr. Maria Faustina for beatification, and it would not have been expedient for him to lift the ban.
In 1993 she was named a Blessed, the Feast of Divine Mercy was celebrated in Poland in 1994, and 1995 Pope John Paul II celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy at Spirito Santo in Sassia, Holy Spirit Church, not far from the Vatican. A Votive Mass of Divine Mercy was composed and has been translated into 19 major languages for use throughout the Church.
In 2000 St. Faustina because the first saint of the New Millennium and Divine Mercy Sunday became a universal feast of the Church's calendar. And in 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a plenary indulgence on top of the promise of Jesus to remit the temporal stain of our sins: if we are not in a state of grace we need the Sacrament of Reconciliation, receive communion (at least spiritually, if legitimately hindered otherwise), honor an image of Divine Mercy and pray for His Divine Mercy through the chaplet and Novena, if possible. And as with all indulgences, the final condition is to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
The message of Divine Mercy is part of that "Peace be with you." Now we have to ask ourselves where are we today? We still need to ask for Divine Mercy, but now we have the task to create mercy for others!
The Marians are growing in the U.S., in Rwanda and Cameroon, the Philippines, Brazil, and Argentina ... and soon we hope to be in India!
You can help us by your prayers, by spreading the message of Divine Mercy among your family, friends, and parishes, and by sharing in the works we do.
The Marians are a small community, a very small community of less than 600 men in the whole world, and slightly more than 10 percent of them are in the United States ... and of them, 21 men are in formation — 21 fantastic men responding to God's call to make their lives a perpetual prayer and sacrifice for Christ as His Church, to bring Jesus's message of mercy and peace to a sinful, suffering, damaged, and abused world. This year we anticipate 10 men entering our Novitiate. That will mean that slightly more than one-third of our Province will be in formation.
Could this be a sign of the New Springtime of the Faith that Pope John Paul II spoke about? I think so!
I am inspired by the men I am called to guide as their Provincial. For example, I look at the book that Brother Michael Gaitley wrote: Consoling the Heart of Jesus (Marian Press). In it, he took the Ignatian method of spiritual development and applied it to St. Faustina's Diary for the use of an average Joe.
Anyone can read this book and benefit from it. It is Mom-and-Dad friendly. It is not written for theologians, it is for the average Catholic who sincerely attempts to be a little holier, a little closer to Jesus. Jesus wants your love.
Jesus says to you today, "Peace be with you," and He wants you to say back to Him, "and also with You." Here at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, we hear confessions everyday at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. there is Mass. At 3 p.m. the chaplet, Eucharistic Adoration, and confessions.
Here at the National Shrine, Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, the rector, offers spiritual counseling and Rachel's Vineyard retreats, Encuentro Latino, and others. Here at the National Shrine we don't solve poverty, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, or terrorism. But to those who have been abused, we offer a refuge, a place of peace and prayer. To those who have lost a loved one, we offer the hope of a better eternity. And to those who are overwhelmed, we offer God's love.
Love is the only real measure of a human person. And even the slightest of human persons was created in the image of God to share in His eternity.
The purpose of Divine Mercy is similar to a ladder. It can be used to add height to a short person so that they might reach a high shelf and the goods there. You and I are shortened by our personal choice for letting sin into our lives. Now we need to seek the "mercy ladder" by which we will reach up to Jesus.
Jesus turned to Thomas and said "... do not be unbelieving, but believe." Jesus looked to St. Faustina and said, "Trust in My Mercy."
Jesus looks upon us all today with eyes filled with His compassionate love, with nail prints in His hands, His arms reach out to embrace each of us here.
All He wants to hear are those words He taught us, "Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I trust in you." Repeat it with me. "Jesus I trust in you" ... again ...