Divine Mercy Sunday is this weekend on the octave of Easter—the eighth day. The number 8 in Scripture and Tradition tends to signify hope. St. John Paul II emphasized the gift of hope in this Sunday, an outpouring of grace to those who are overwhelmed by the evil in this world, stating, “The Risen Lord offers his love that pardons, reconciles and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!” (Regina Caeli).
We look forward to pondering the ocean of mercy offered to us and reflecting that in our garments on this day. Here are a few ideas to inspire your Divine Mercy Sunday reflection.
Ocean of Mercy
Jesus urged St. Faustina to proclaim the abundance and vastness of His mercy saying, “My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. … Let no soul fear to draw near to Me. … It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy” (St. Faustina, Diary, no. 699).
Pope Francis on Divine Mercy Sunday 2020 emphasized the beauty and hope of offering our whole selves to Christ—imperfections and all. He references Jesus’ words to Saint Faustina:
“‘I am love and mercy itself; there is no human misery that could measure up to my mercy’ (Diary, 14 September 1937).’ At one time, the Saint, with satisfaction, told Jesus that she had offered him all of her life and all that she had. But Jesus’ answer stunned her: ‘You have not offered me the thing is truly yours.’ What had that holy nun kept for herself? Jesus said to her with kindness: ‘My daughter, give me your failings’ (10 October 1937). We too can ask ourselves: ‘Have I given my failings to the Lord? Have I let him see me fall so that he can raise me up?’ Or is there something I still keep inside me? A sin, a regret from the past, a wound that I have inside, a grudge against someone, an idea about a particular person… The Lord waits for us to offer him our failings so that he can help us experience his mercy” (Pope Francis, Homily, Holy Mass on the Feast of Divine Mercy, April 19, 2020).
The Sacred Heart
The USCCB describes the image of Divine Mercy comes from the vision of St. Faustina in which she saw Jesus with His right hand raised in a blessing and his left touching his garment above his heart. The red and white rays streaming forth from his heart, point back to the blood and water that was poured out for our salvation and our sanctification. Jesus asked St. Faustina to have “Jesus, I trust in You” inscribed under His image. Read more about the history behind the devotion to Divine Mercy here.
The 8th Day
Jimmy Akin with the National Catholic Register points out that the readings for Divine Mercy Sunday are consistent for all three yearly liturgical cycles, “The Divine Mercy image depicts Jesus at the moment he appears to the disciples in the Upper Room, after the Resurrection, when he empowers them to forgive or retain sins…it includes the appearance of Jesus to the Apostle Thomas (in which Jesus invites him to touch his wounds). This event occurred on the eighth day after the Resurrection (John 20:26), and so it is used on the liturgy eight days after Easter.”
What to Wear: Think blue & red! Any garment or accessory with red and blue to reflect the streams of light in the image of Divine Mercy. There have been studies that show blue is associated with security, permanence, and trust. And of course, red symbolizes passion and sacrifice.
Show us your Divine Mercy ensembles by tagging us @litany.nyc