Witnesses To God's Mercy
"The Bible, Tradition, and the whole faith life of the People of God provide unique proof... that mercy is the greatest of the attributes and perfections of God."
~ Pope John Paul II: Dives in Misericordia" (no. 13)
God has shown us His mercy in countless ways through the ages. He has sent prophets as well as ordinary people to be witnesses of this, the greatest of His attributes. He has also given us tangible signs of mercy in His sacraments, especially in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
The luminous thread of God's mercy not only runs through this very special day of Divine Mercy Sunday, but also through the readings from Mass. In Acts, God's mercy is evident when He adds to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47) In the second reading, Peter begins with a prayer of praise and blessing to God's mercy: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you... (1 Peter 1:3~4) Then in the Gospel account Jesus shows mercy to Thomas and Thomas is invited to put His hand in Jesus's side, the entrance to His Sacred Heart, the source of His Divine Mercy.
This day is also a great day in the life of our Church because God has raised up for us in our own time a great witness to His mercy in Pope John Paul II who is beatified today and counted among the Blesseds in heaven. This great pope bore witness to Christ's mercy in many ways throughout his long pontificate, but the one in particular that stands out in my mind is when he visited in prison the man who attempted to kill him . He went to offer this man forgiveness. The Holy Father, in that moment, was the face of God's mercy.
St Faustina, who is called the Apostle of Divine Mercy, is another witness to Our Lord's mercy. She accepted the difficult invitation of Jesus to spread all that Jesus wanted us to know about His mercy. Thanks to St Faustina, and her her loving faithfulness, we are given the devotion to the Divine Mercy where we ourselves can learn to become witnesses to God's unfathomable and endless mercy.
So let us do as the psalm for today says and give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love (and mercy) are everlasting. (Psalm 118)
Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us!