Sunday, April 7, 2024

Easter Octave: The Sunday of Divine Mercy

We come to the conclusion of the “eight days” that constitute the superabundance of our celebration of the “Day” of Christ’s Resurrection: “This is the Day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24). Now follow the days and weeks of the Easter Season, culminating in Pentecost.

It is also Divine Mercy Sunday, instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II in recognition of the deepening of awareness in the Church of the centrality of God’s merciful love at the heart of the Paschal Mystery. The body of Jesus, pierced in the heart by a lance, pours forth blood and water, which indicate the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism through which the Risen Jesus gives Himself to us and conforms us to Himself.

Today’s Collect:
God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

The writings of Saint Faustina—the twentieth century Polish nun who conveyed the details of the image and the key elements of the devotion to God’s Mercy—indicate that Jesus willed the Sunday after Easter to be specially dedicated to His Mercy.

O blood and water, which poured forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you.” Trust encompasses our living faith, our personal relationship with Jesus our Savior. Trust grows through the faith that believes in His redemption, adheres to Him in hope, and grows in love for Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Triune God who made each one of us and calls us to an everlasting communion with Divine Love.

Everything is grace, the gift of God’s merciful love. With wonder and gratitude, we pray for the grace to say “yes” every day to Jesus, to follow Him on the path of the journey to our True Home.