April 9, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, let us read below from Pope Saint John Paul II from his homily of 30 April 2000 on the canonization of Sr. Mary Faustina Kowloska.
Peace in Christ,
“It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called Divine Mercy Sunday. In the various readings, the liturgy seems to indicate the path of mercy which, while reestablishing the relationship of each person with God, also creates new relations of fraternal solidarity among human beings. Christ has taught us that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but is also called to practice mercy towards others: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Mt. 5:7)
He also showed us the many paths of mercy, which not only forgives sins but reaches out to all human needs. Jesus bent over every kind of human poverty: material and spiritual. His message of mercy continues to reach us through His hands held out to suffering man. This is how Sr. Faustina saw Him and proclaimed Him to people on all the continents when, hidden in her convent at Łagiewniki in Kraków, she made her life a hymn to mercy: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.
Sr. Faustina’s canonization has a particular eloquence: by this act I intend today to pass this message on to the new millennium. I pass it on to all people, so that they will learn to know ever better the true face of their brethren. In fact, love of God and love of one’s brothers and sisters are inseparable, as the First Letter of John has reminded us: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. (5:2)
Here the Apostle reminds us of the truth of love, showing us its measure and criterion in the observance of the commandments. It is not easy to love with a deep love, which lies in the authentic gift of self. This love can only be learned be penetrating the mystery of God’s love. Looking at Him, being one with His fatherly heart, we are able to look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters, with an attitude of unselfishness and solidarity, of generosity and forgiveness. All this is mercy.”