My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
On Divine Mercy Sunday I wish you all Happy Easter! May the generosity of Christ’s mercy fill your hearts with overflowing love, the one power able to transform the world from selfishness to generous love for the good of the other. The Magnificat magazine gives this reflection: “On this Divine Mercy Sunday we recall the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: ‘Mercy consists in bringing a thing out of non-being into being.’ We see this transpire concretely in the life of the early Church. The community of believers ‘was united, heart and soul’ and ‘everything they owned was held in common.’ They were filled with awe; they were witnesses of wondrous signs; they dedicated themselves to the good of the other; they were selfless and generous. They lived with the faith that can ‘overcome the world’.” This is what I desire for my parishes and missions, an infilling with Divine Mercy so powerful that our hearts simply overflow with a generous love that is welcoming and merciful.
Love for you is what keeps me going, when I am exhausted as Pedro Arrupe, SJ, beautifully wrote: “Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love. In a quite absolute, final way, what you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekend, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
Today as we meditate on Divine Mercy, the love of Christ flowing from the pierced Sacred Heart as the blood of the Eucharist and the water of baptism, let’s consider how in our life and in our parish or mission, Divine Mercy is calling us to be more loving for the good of the other. We all have sinful tendencies and weaknesses that reveal to us our need for a savior and God’s mercy. We all fail to love generously, as God loves. It is difficult to see in the other, especially those on the margins of society, Jesus who is thirsty and in need of comfort and friendship. When I am tired, I am unable to love like God does, however, Divine Mercy moves me to rely on grace, to confess my sins and fills the spaces in my heart where love is lacking.
We must be an anointing people, a community who share the overflowing love that fills our hearts during Easter. As a people of faith, hope and love, we possess the greatest power in the world: agape, love concerned for those who need love and friendship. Divine Mercy is the power of the “New Evangelization”. In simple terms, our sharing of the joy of the Gospel, the love of Christ fill us with joy and an overflowing desire to pray, to receive the sacraments, to live in union with God and to be generous in welcoming others.
Generous love is transforming how we live in faith. We are seeing many return to Confession, seeking the Anointing of the Sick and preparing to have civil marriages blessed through Holy Matrimony. The Holy Spirit is active among us making Divine Mercy present healing physical and spiritual illnesses. This Easter let us thank God and anoint others with the oil of gladness.
Your servant in Christ, Fr. Paul