God’s Divine Mercy

During their time, my parents influenced me to take on the devotion to the Divine Mercy. They dazzled me with stories and miracles attributed to the power and healing of this commitment. Reading its history also tells how the Divine Providence of God shapes world events. Starting from being a very quiet cloistered nun in Poland to her canonization, Sister Faustina’s story is one of the manifestations of God’s Providence and real influence in shaping the Universal Church. The private revelations of Jesus Christ to Sister Faustina were just that: private. However, as God wills it, from the quiet confines of the convent, the message of God’s mercy slowly creeped back into the awareness and eventual recognition of the Church. It wasn’t by coincidence that in 1965, the Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, who would later become Pope John Paul II, opened up the first investigations into Sister Faustina’s life and virtues. He submitted a number of documents on her life to the Vatican and requested the official beatification process to start. St. Faustina Kowalska was beatified on April 18, 1993 and canonized, on April 30, 2000, both by Pope St. John Paul II. During her canonization, the Holy Father also instituted the Feast of Mercy for the Universal Church to be celebrated on the eighth day of the Octave of Easter every year.

We haven’t met Jesus in the same way as Sister Faustina, or the Apostles did on that evening of the first week (Gospel: Jn. 20: 19-31) but most of us have encountered Him one way or the other in life’s quiet moments. He is the ever-present God who is always reaching out to us despite our weaknesses and shortcomings. His message has always been “Peace be with you” and this message of telling us not to fear and panic rings hundreds of times in Sacred Scriptures. In fact, the Risen Jesus said to them again that night, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

Every time we attend Mass, we encounter the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, telling us again and again, “Peace be with you”. Let us reflect deeper on this mystery of the Divine Mercy and call to mind His reaching out to us in many ways that we can ever imagine. We aren’t only assured of His deep love and forgiveness but He is also committed to see us through the difficulties and challenges that we have. In the same manner, He is asking us to reach out to others, because our happiness isn’t dependent on our own, but is in how we make others around us happy as well.

During these times, let us spend the effort to re-dedicate our commitment and support to the Church who needs us more than ever. Let us contribute whatever time, talent, and treasure that we have. Let us prove to the Lord our gratitude for His Divine Mercy by bringing His love to the world.

“Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” (Ps. 118:1)

Faith, Love and Hope

The world is in a very difficult situation today. The news that we see and hear don’t give us an optimistic view of what to expect in the horizon. We are overwhelmed: the magnitude of the pandemic is just challenging to cope, unthinkable to imagine, unbearable to carry. The perfect recipe for hopelessness. Like what Mary Magdalene experienced on that first Easter morning, it was hard to fathom, much more when it was still dark. (Gospel: Jn. 20: 1-9).

The tomb of Christ, who is living,
    The glory of Jesus’ resurrection
;
Bright angels attesting,
    The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen
;
    to Galilee he goes before you.”

Yet, commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus gives us a reason to be optimistic despite what’s happening around us. 

Jesus is RisenAlleluiaHe is truly Risen as He saidAlleluia!

Celebrating Easter gives us the assurance of peace and meaning to our struggles. Easter reinvigorates hope to mend our brokenness especially in a world so weary, overwhelmed, devastated. 

Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB defines the connection of this faith, love and hope in his Easter homily, 

“When you have the proper motivation in life, you know what you want, and you do it out of  love, magically I would say, you will find the strength and the fortitude to stay, hold on and ultimately succeed in your plans. At the end, after you’ve done so many things, because of that hope in your heart, you have the strength to live the present. You just don’t look at the present as a series of unfortunate events, you look at your life as a mystery itself. You are not in control of your life, but you are trying and giving it your best.

If there is a mystery, you don’t give up. There is a reason why things are happening. ‘I don’t understand, I am not in control, but the story will end happily ever after. And I’m holding on to that. This will turn a good page afterwards.’ That is mystery. Faith lived with love, brings up hope. And hope is not just about the future. Hope is facing the mysteries of every day. When we learn to live with the mystery of life, happy and decided about life, you know, you can feel it, you are living in the company, in the presence of the Lord.

God is a mystery and the way He expresses Himself to us will always be tinged with mystery. And so when you dwell in the mystery of life, when you looked at life as a mystery, difficult yet hopeful, you know you are living in the presence of God. And this gives you the strength to live as best as you could, knowing that no matter what the present (where you are). Then you can handle it.”

Jesus life modelled this perfectly. He who knew what He wanted. All He wanted was ‘to obey, to surrender to the will of Him who sent me’. And what made Jesus do it? His tremendous love for the Father. In fact Jesus is the expression of God’s love for us. And His love for us.”

May we dwell in Your mysterious holiness, despite the challenges that this life brings,

If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” (Second Reading: Col. 3: 1-4)

Today, accept the reality that Jesus is risen and alive. Allow yourself to be enveloped by hope of Easter: it is a new day, a new beginning for all of us who believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. As we go rejoicing in His victory over death and sin, let us reflect on how this new life in Christ can make us new, refreshed, rejuvenated: an Easter person, truly immersed in His resurrected glory.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” (Ps. 118:24)