Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014
Gospel of John 20:24-29 – The Incredulity of Thomas
Canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II

Christ’s wounds are the permanent sign of God’s mercy. This was quoted by the priest where I went to Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday. The priest said it was from John Paul II but I did not find the exact phrase. Then I heard the same truth in different words when watching Pope Francis’ homily at the canonization Mass : “The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness.”

Love is the essential nature of God. Mercy is His first attribute: St Faustina was revealed this, and her spiritual director checked that the theology was sound in the Summa, where it is explained in almost the same words. “Mercy is especially to be attributed to God […] It does most properly belong to Him to dispel … misery, whatever be the defect we call by that name. Now defects are not removed, except by the perfection of some kind of goodness; and the primary source of goodness is God.” (1a, q. 21, art. 3) “The work of divine justice always presupposes the work of mercy; and is founded thereupon.” (1a, q. 21, art. 4)

Saint John Paul II canonized Sister Helena Faustina Kowalska, instituted the Divine Mercy Sunday following the revelation she received, and the world is witness that he died the good death on the Vigil of that Feast. Saint John XXIII was certainly not called “the Good Pope” for nothing. Benedict XVI’s first encyclical was Deus caritas est, God is love. It was fitting that Pope Francis chose to canonize his predecessors on Divine Mercy Sunday, in the presence of the Pope Emeritus, and recall us that suffering becomes salvation because of divine Love.


For more information about Divine Mercy Sunday: http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur170.htm


Corporal and spiritual works of mercy

The traditional enumeration of the corporal works of mercy is as follows:
To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To harbour the harbourless
To visit the sick
To ransom the captive
To bury the dead.

The spiritual works of mercy are:
To instruct the ignorant
To counsel the doubtful
To admonish sinners
To bear wrongs patiently
To forgive offences willingly
To comfort the afflicted
To pray for the living and the dead.