Today we are celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. This feast was instituted by Saint John Paul II. The origin of this celebration is very connected with Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish religious, to whom the Lord revealed the importance of his mercy towards us.
As you know, Pope Francis has made the mercy of God one of the central themes of his Papacy. That is to say, Pope Francis wishes that in these times, we as a church, be the face of that merciful God. In order for us to be that merciful face of Christ, we have to experience the mercy of God in our own lives. Experiencing the mercy of God in ourselves is one of the best ways to be merciful to others. Why? Because we ourselves know from our own experience how good it feels when God is merciful to us.
The mercy of God can be explained in many ways because it has many expressions. I personally like to explain the mercy of God by making a connection with the etymological root of the word mercy. The word mercy comes from the Latin language and consists of two words: miser and cordis. Miser means miserable, unhappy; Cordis means heart. In the Christian context it means that God puts his heart in our misery. God continues to give us what is in his heart when we feel miserable and unfortunate, especially because of sin.
This is very important for us, because when we sin, we judge ourselves too harshly. Many times, we spend a lot of time, or our whole life, holding a grudge against ourselves for our sins or for our wrongdoings. Sometimes, we no longer trust ourselves, much less have the ability to forgive ourselves. This feast of Divine Mercy reminds us that God is not a harsh judge. On the contrary, God is a merciful God and he understands us. He is always giving us a new opportunity. He believes in us when we no longer believe in ourselves. He forgives us even for the most horrible sin or the evilest action that we have done. This he does because he loves us. That is to say, his mercy has its foundation in love.
I believe that this feast is a good opportunity for us in which God reminds us that his love is greater than our sin. There is no reason why we should doubt that God loves us unconditionally. And when no one, not even ourselves see us with love, God does. He reaches out into our misery, not superficially, but with all his profoundness of his sacred heart.
May the Lord grant us the grace to be able to experience his mercy in our life.