Becoming Mercy, our great hope!

By Chris Sparks

"God’s Love is the flower — Mercy the fruit" (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 949).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). For God so loved the world that He had — has — will have mercy on us. His mercy endures forever.

That is the miracle and the meaning of Easter, whose octave day is Divine Mercy Sunday, Apr. 24. There’s no better time to dive into the ocean of mercy, and bring a friend. Invite others to take up the Divine Mercy message and devotion.

Culmination of our great hope
Divine Mercy Sunday is the culmination of the feast of our great hope. Easter and the Resurrection tell us that Christ has overcome death, the last enemy to be destroyed. Christ has conquered hell, and bound the devil. Christ is greater than anything we have ever faced, are facing, or ever will face, and though we may still have our own Good Fridays to undergo, still, no matter how hard the road or terrible the suffering, those days will become good, still be redeemed by the One who was killed, and returned in glory.

Jesus Christ is greater. The Way, the Truth, and the Life; the Light of the World; the Prince of Peace is greater than the world, the flesh, and the devil; greater than power or money; greater than worldly wisdom. Good will win in the end. The Resurrection is a down payment on that final victory, and every Mass, every Baptism, every Confession allows in a little more of the light of the risen Jesus who is coming to us at the end of the world. Every grace and blessing that touches us and transforms us leaves the world a little more holy, a little more like it will all be in the end.

Let the light of the divine in with your prayers and devotions, done in the state of grace, in communion with the Trinity and with the saints. Let the light of eternity in with your works of mercy, natural acts taken up and made radiant by the Sacraments, by uniting your good works with the works of Jesus Christ. Let your life and love be connected to eternal life and the Divine Love.

Abide in the Holy Spirit so that God moves through your words and deeds, so that your prayer is work and your work is prayer, so that everything can be infused with and radiate grace for yourself, your neighbors, and the whole world.


Let the light of the divine in with your prayers and devotions, done in the state of grace, in communion with the Trinity and with the saints. Let the light of eternity in with your works of mercy, natural acts taken up and made radiant by the Sacraments, by uniting your good works with the works of Jesus Christ. Let your life and love be connected to eternal life and the Divine Love.

Abide in the Holy Spirit so that God moves through your words and deeds, so that your prayer is work and your work is prayer, so that everything can be infused with and radiate grace for yourself, your neighbors, and the whole world.


Transparent to grace
Indeed, God and the saints are so holy that even an image of them can be transparent to grace, as we see with the Divine Mercy Image. Jesus said to St. Faustina:

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 (Diary, 47, 48).

I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You (Diary, 327).

I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world (Diary, 47).

Displaying the Image publicly for the Divine Mercy Sunday Liturgy was one of Christ’s requests to St. Faustina, following a custom more common in the East than in the West. He said to her, “I want the Image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it” (Diary, 341).

He also asked for the faithful to undertake some work of mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday — though of course, He also demanded us to be merciful always: “I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it” (Diary, 742).

Extraordinary Mercy
Why? Because we are to be true sons and daughters of God, which means being merciful as God in Heaven is merciful (see Lk 6:36). And the mercy of God is extraordinary:

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a 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. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. 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 from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy (Diary, 699).

So this Divine Mercy Sunday, share the news of the extraordinary graces attached to the devotion, and the centrality of the message to our Catholic faith. Pope Benedict XVI, after all, taught, “[M]ercy is the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God, the Face with which he revealed himself in the Old Covenant and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creative and redemptive Love. May this merciful love also shine on the face of the Church and show itself through the sacraments, in particular that of Reconciliation, and in works of charity, both communitarian and individual. May all that the Church says and does manifest the mercy God feels for man, and therefore for us.”

As members of God’s family, the Church, we are invited — even obligated — to accept His name, His identity, as our own: Divine Mercy.

Jesus, I trust in You! Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us!

May you have a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday.

Chris Sparks is the author of the Marian Press book How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question.

{shopmercy-ad}

You might also like...

As we look forward to celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven on Aug. 15, I wish to share a witticism I once read regarding Mary’s Assumption. The reason Mary was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven was because she always took herself so lightly.

Mary is mother for all of us: those on the left or the right, Democrat or Republican, whatever our ethnicity, race, or even creed. Our Lady is the New Eve, Mother of the New Adam, and the Refuge of Sinners; she has been given the whole human race by God. 

On July 2, the Feast of Our Lady of Licheń, the Sorrowful Queen of Poland, we recall the address of Pope St. John Paul II, when he visited in 1999.