Good afternoon, everyone. You can remain seated, but let’s just begin with a prayer.
In the name of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
“While he was still a long way off, the father caught sight of his son and was filled with compassion. He ran to him and embraced him and kissed him.” Father, as we come before you on this wonderful Feast Day of Divine Mercy Sunday, I just ask that you anoint me, your priest, to speak the words that your people long to hear. That, through your promise to Sister Faustina, any priest that would speak on your behalf would be blessed to allow people to know of the great mercy of our God. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen. In the name of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
How many of you know of the Eucharistic Revival? Have you heard of this yet? OK, a couple of you have. We’re going to do a three-year Eucharist Revival. We’ve already been in the first year of it, but the reason you don’t know about it is that the first year was just to get all the priests, the Diocese people that are really involved, and all of that focused on a plan for their own Diocese of what they’re doing. We’ve been meditating on that ourselves. I’ve given this Divine Mercy talk four years in a row, and every year, I pick a different theme depending on what the year is, so I chose to focus on the Eucharist since we’re entering into this Eucharistic Revival.
I always like to begin by telling people about Divine Mercy Sunday and the special graces we are to receive on this day. Jesus tells Sister Faustina to run throughout the whole world and tell them of His infinite mercy. If sinners recite this chaplet only once in their lives, they will be saved. Tell priests that hardened sinners will crumble beneath their words when they speak of My mercy.
I just trust that God will work through me because of this promise. I will give them wonderful powers, and we will touch the hearts to which they will speak. So, Jesus will touch your hearts through this talk today.
When Jesus began to appear to Sister Faustina, she began writing in her diary. When I was in the seminary, the diary was given to me a number of times. Now if you haven’t had her diary, it’s about this thick, so it’s a pretty big book, and it looks kind of intimidating to read. In the seminary, you have a lot of reading that you have to do, so much so that the teachers, one of them, Father Tasco, would say, “This will be your 3:00 am reading, you know, three in the morning when you’re still reading, this will be what you do then.”
So, you have a lot to read in the seminary, and so I kept thinking, I don’t have time to read this now. I would get another copy, but I don’t have time to read it now, and you would think I would get the hint, right? But after a while, four people gave me a copy of this diary that I might read. I put all those on my shelf until I was ordained, and I still didn’t read them during my first year of ordination. So, some years ago, there was a Year for Mercy. Do you remember that we had the Year of Mercy? That’s when I read the Diary of Saint Faustina, which forever changed my own understanding of God’s mercy.
You know me because I have this love of the Prodigal Father. Sister Faustina helped me to see through her Jesus’s revelation that He is a merciful Father. He just wants us to share in His love, and the more we can trust in this love, the more He will save us.
In a conversation she had with God about a despairing soul (1486), Jesus said O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. Maybe this is you right now. O, soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy. But the soul, deaf to even this appeal, wraps itself in darkness. Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.
I hope you will do that with me today; listen to the voice of the merciful Father.
He goes on to tell Sister Faustina a series of revelations and apparitions to her,
My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable (138) mercy.
He wanted her to tell the entire world about this.
I desire that the Feast of Mercy (139) be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, especially for poor sinners.
So, these days are a refuge for us, a shelter.
On that day, the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon souls approaching the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. This is Jesus talking to Faustina. He’s telling her that the soul that comes to Confession will receive complete forgiveness of sins and all their punishments.
In the church, we’ve had a long-standing tradition of indulgences, and sometimes I’m even afraid to say the word because it has some negative connotations. People think, “Why do we need indulgences? Why do we have them, and why do we have to earn something from God?”
I think of an indulgence as God like a father. When you think of parents indulging their children, they’re giving them gifts, so God is indulging us on this Feast of Divine Mercy. He’s giving us a wonderful gift, and it’s not anything that we earn; all we have to do is approach Him.
On that day, all the Divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.
Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be scarlet red like this.
My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the depths of My most tender mercy.
Everything! All of this world, all of your lives, all of your family, your work, all of it has come forth from the depths of God’s mercy and the gifts He wants to give you.
Every soul’s relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity.
We are doing today when we contemplate His love and His mercy for us, that’s going to be heaven. Just experiencing God’s love and tender mercy, this Prodigal Father who loves us so much.
The Feast of this Mercy has emerged from My depths of tenderness. (139) 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.
People always ask me, “Why do I have to go to Confession? I don’t want to go to Confession. I don’t need to go to Confession.” He’s giving us this wonderful opportunity for peace. I know there are many times in my life when I’ve sinned or sinned, and yes, I go to God and ask for his forgiveness. I don’t truly feel peace until I go to Confession. When I go to Confession, and I hear those words of absolution, and I’ve spoken those horrible things out loud, I feel His peace in the fount of his mercy.
Jesus reveals that it pains God our Father so much when we don’t trust Him and experience Him as merciful.
So, it pains God when we don’t trust that He will be merciful to us.
Why am I here today at Saint Matthias today speaking about Divine Mercy Sunday? Well, for one, I’m a priest, so Jesus asked the priest to preach about mercy and told them that He would give them the words to say. I’m here just very humbly because I believe that. I believe in Jesus, and I very much believe in His Divine Mercy.
I have read the book by the way a number of times, and I reread the journal frequently but especially as I prepare for talks like this. It is so good for me as I read through it again, and my heart just lifts. It’s such a wonderful message that He’s given to us. I’ve also been privileged as a priest to sit in what is called the front-row seat of the theater of God’s grace. I get to sit in the front-row seat of God absolving sinners. I sit right before a penitent that comes before me, and I watch as their face turns from pain, anguish, and shame into tears, joy, love, and hope.