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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Homily Divine Mercy Sunday


Homily Divine Mercy Sunday 2013

 

Good Friday 1993...

Sharon McAllister left to attend Service of the Lord’s Passion.

Her two boys pleaded not to have to church, so she left them at home,

          with strict instructions on how to behave responsibly while she was gone.

 

Of course, the moment she left, mischief reigned supreme!

The boys immediately got out their BB guns

and began to play a dangerous kind of hide-and-seek with them,

          firing at each other as they hid behind different obstacles in the yard.

 

14-year-old Patrick was hiding behind a small boat that was lying in the field.

Just as he stood up and came round from behind it, his brother fired a shot

          which hit Patrick directly in the eye.

 

In a state of shock and panic, the boys at least thought to run to a nearby house

          and a neighbor lady rushed Patrick to the emergency room. 

Her husband took his brother to church to find and inform their mother.

 

When Mom arrived at the hospital,

she was startled to see the doctors waiting for her.
They told her that the BB had pierced through Patrick’s eye and torn his retina.

There was nothing they could do for him.

 

The hospital even called in a specialist, who provided only a bleak prognosis.

He would never see out of that eye again, and his overall vision would be impaired.

Patrick remained in the hospital through Easter Sunday,

and on Monday he went home with both eyes bandaged shut.

Each day Sharon changed Patrick’s bandages and checked his wounded eye.

 

When she took off the dressings and exposed his eyes to the light,

          he described that it was like “sparklers going off in his eyes.”

He could not see and the shredded inside of his eye was causing him great suffering.

Even worse, the pain medication he was given caused nausea and vomiting.

 

Frustrated and with no hope except in God, Sharon decided

that her family needed to go to church and pray on Divine Mercy Sunday.

She had heard the lesson of Saint Faustina,

a polish nun to whom Jesus appeared several times beginning in Lent 1931.

Jesus told her that He would answer any prayer of those who pray devoutly on DMS.

 

Jesus said to Faustina…

“I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.” (1520)

 

Patrick was not supposed to move around much until his scars healed

          but Sharon insisted that he go with her

                   for her only hope was in the Divine Mercy of Jesus.

So they went, and they prayed for Patrick to regain his sight.

 

On Monday, there was no change.

Then, on Tuesday, when Sharon opened Patrick’s bandages,

his response was much different than usual.

“Mom, I can see you,” he blurted out.

“What do you mean?” she asked. 

“Like before!” he replied.

 

Sharon took Patrick to the eye specialist, who examined him

          and was confounded and amazed that Patrick was able to see at all,

let alone see as well as before the accident.

Even if Patrick regained some sight after such an accident,

          the scar tissue in his eye should have left him with spotty vision.

 

When they went to their family doctor, he, too was amazed, and asked:

 “Who performed this surgery?”

Sharon simply replied: “The One who made the eye!”

 

God not only worked a miracle for Patrick but also for his brother,

          who was greatly troubled knowing that his carelessness had blinded his brother.

Not a day goes by that the whole family does not thank God

          for His abundant mercy and love revealed in Jesus Christ.

 

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday,

          the great and beautiful Easter gift given to the Church by the Risen Christ.

 

The appearance of the Risen Christ among the Apostles is shocking.

He comes through locked doors and stands in the midst of His fearful friends. 

His few words – “Peace be with you!” – dispel their anxiety.

 

 

Jesus shows to the Apostles the wounds which He suffered on the Cross…

          wounds which remain in His glorified body as signs of His infinite love.

 

From those wounds…in His hands and feet…flowed His Precious Blood…

          an ocean of mercy waiting to bursting forth from His Sacred Heart

and cascade over the souls of all humanity.

 

In that same moment, Jesus transmits to the frightened and dumbfounded disciples

          the sacramental grace to be ministers of His divine mercy.

He institutes the Sacrament of Penance,

and entrusts it to His chosen friends…the first priests of the Church.

“Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and who sins you retain are retained.”

 

It is through the Church’s ministers that Christ desires to bestow His merciful love.

We give thanks to God, for His mercy endures in the sacramental life of the Church.

 

The appearance of the Risen Christ to Saint Faustina in 1931 was also shocking,

          as He suddenly came and stood with her in her humble convent cell.

He appeared in dazzling white, with His right hand raised in blessing,

          and with red and white rays emanating from that glorious wound in his side.

Jesus revealed to her that the white ray symbolizes the saving water of Baptism…

          and the red symbolizes His precious blood poured out on the Cross.

 

The same Risen Jesus appeared to the Apostles…and to Faustina…

          to reveal the same incredible gift of His unfathomable divine mercy!

 

 

The prayers for this Second Sunday of Easter,

          especially the Collect, which speaks of the Father’s mercy,

          the fountain of water and the blood of redemption,

                   dovetail so beautifully with the themes of Divine Mercy.

 

Jesus also revealed to Faustina a prayer known as the Divine Mercy Chaplet,

          and promised great favors to those who pray it in faith.

We will gather as a parish family this afternoon at 3:00 to pray this prayer.

In invite and encourage you to join us.

 

Like the McCallister family, we all have needs – not the same as theirs –

          but we all have prayers and concerns which we need to lift up to Jesus

          as we beg His mercy upon us and our world.

 

Like the Apostles, the doors to our hearts are often locked because of fear,

or stubbornness.

Like Thomas, our need for outward signs…proof…upfront

          prevents us from embracing the opportunities for grace God presents to us.

Perhaps this devotion to Divine Mercy is new and uncertain for you.

Be not afraid!

 

Today, the Risen Christ stands in our midst in this Holy Eucharist…

          and beckons us to partake of the saving and redemptive tide of His mercy.

Today the Risen Christ wishes us peace, and promises us love.

Today the Risen Christ calls us to put aside our fear and doubt,

and place our trust in His mercy.

 

Dear friends, be not unbelieving in divine mercy…

but believe…and cry out with Saint Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”

 

Cry out with Saint Faustina: “Jesus, I trust in You!”

 

Come pray with us this afternoon.

Believe in the mercy of Christ which endures forever…

that you may have life in Him!        

1 comment:

flordelisa oandasan said...

PEACE BE WITH YOU! so beautiful message Fr.Matthew thank you for sharing again your inspiring homily.
I am a faithful of praying the 3 o'clock prayer and yes I do believe in the mercy of Christ Divine Love.YES! I trust in in Divine Mercy!
Truly, the greatest attribute of GOD is mercy. God is love! But love that stoops to weakness,poverty,suffering and sinfulness is mercy. Because we are weak and sinful, the Lord shows his love to us as mercy.