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)