Sunday, 20 April 2014

Divine Mercy Sunday 2014 - Merciful Jesus Christ, I trust in You 27th of April 2014

Introduction :

"I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy". Words of Jesus Christ, the Divine Mercy to Saint Faustina. Ask of my faithful servant that, on this day he tell the whole world of my great mercy; that whoever approaches the "Fount of Life" on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment.

"Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my Mercy. (Diary 300).

Our Lord asked Saint Faustina to pray and to work to have established a Feast of the Divine Mercy on the Sunday after Easter. This would be a day of total forgiveness of sins for those who approach the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance.

It would be an "Annual Celebration" like the day of Atonement. All Sins and Punishment would be washed away in his infinite mercy.

The Texts of the Liturgy for that Sunday focus on the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel is of Jesus Christ appearing in the upper room and bestowing the authority to forgive sins; and the other readings also refer to Mercy. (Psalm 118 and 1 Peter 1 : 3-9)

Divine Mercy Sunday Celebrations across the world :

In Poland, the Sunday after Easter is celebrated as the "Feast of the Divine Mercy". Each year, Cardinal Macharski of Cracow used to write to his priests and people to make "Mercy Sunday" a solemn occasion of celebrating God's infinite mercy towards us.

The Archdiocese of Manila in the Philippines has named the Second Sunday of Easter as the "Feast of the Divine Mercy" in its ordo for 1987 (The official calendar for the liturgy of Mass and Office).

At the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge,Massachusetts the Sunday after Easter is "Mercy Sunday" a day of a great gathering of pilgrims for celebrating the Eucharist,Reconciliation, preaching on Mercy, and praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday to one and all.

Credits : Now is the Time for Mercy by Father George Kosicki C.S.B.

Check out this awesome site on Divine Mercy Sunday with regard to what to do before the Feast Day as well as on the Feast day itself.

http://www.divinemercysunday.com/                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Easter Sunday 2014- A New Way of Living Dedicated to the Risen Christ

Christ is Risen !! Peace to you !! Today, we celebrate the great mystery, the foundation of "Christian Faith" and hope : Jesus Christ of Nazareth the Crucified One has risen from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Let's imagine for a moment a scene in First Century Galilee. A middle aged man from a small village who considers himself ordinary has heard of an extraordinary preacher who is travelling around the region. He has healing powers -people have seen this but more than that, he speaks of a different way of living ;a way of living which involves loving each other as "Human Beings ".

He is caught by the story of this man and manages to slip away one day to listen to him. Hearing him, he falls in love with his dream and takes it home in his heart.

Wanting to know the Truth :

And then he hears of his death. An immense sadness fills him. He was very special. Some people said he was the "Son of God". In his heart he almost believed it. But now he's dead.

Imagine his face when a few days later the rumour flies through his village that he has risen from the dead. People have seen him; the tomb is empty!!

He hears the Apostles in Jerusalem proclaiming his resurrection and he is awestruck!! He realizes first hand how the Apostles seem to be transformed men proclaiming the "Risen Christ".

He wants to hear everything: How he had met the doubting disciples after rising and sharing meals with them : how he had shown them the marks of his cruel death on his risen body. All these details have new importance for him because he has risen from the dead.

What helps to keep him going is a special meal called the "Eucharist". Jesus Christ began it the night before he died and asked his followers to do this in his memory. (Luke 22:29)

He loves this gathering because Jesus Christ is so richly present at it- in himself and the others gathered there, in the stories concerning him which are told or read; in the sharing where his message throws light on his daily life;and in the meal itself where he meets him face to face and nourishes him and brings him into the mystery of his life and suffering and resurrection.

The Man in the story has no name. Let him have your name. The Risen Jesus Christ desires to relate with you as he related with him. As the Poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it : "Let him Easter in us".

Happy Easter to you all.

Credits :

Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai

April 2008 Vol 9 No 12


 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Good Friday 2014- Transformed by the Crucified Christ

On Good Friday, we often meditate and reflect on the last words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. In the 4 Gospels there are seven sayings attributed to the dying Christ - one in Matthew and Mark, three each in Luke and John. Good Friday Meditations focus on the passion and suffering of Jesus Christ and on the loving compassion of our "Merciful Saviour".

I propose a further meditation on Jesus's words from the Cross.

1. My God, My God why have you forsaken me ??

These words are recorded in both Matthew and Mark and in them alone. They are from the opening verse of Psalm 22 and a text that Jesus Christ would have known well. As he is nailed to the Cross the words appropriately express the pain and abandonment that he must have felt. Throughout human history it is likely that everyone at some time in life, will express the same sentiment.

2. Father Forgive them, for they do not know  what they do :

Luke records these as Jesus's first words as he is nailed to the Cross. They show the extraordinary compassion of our "Saviour", fulfilling his own instruction to his disciples and to us to forgive our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

3.  Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise :

These words also are found only in Luke, an expression of hope and compassion given to one of those crucified with Jesus Christ who asked to be remembered by him when he was glorified. The Man's faith in Jesus Christ is met with a promise of fulfillment.

4. Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit:

The Final Words recorded by Luke,a quote from Psalm 31 are also surely well known to Jesus Christ. They express the other side of abandonment which is "TRUST" even in the darkest hour.

5. Woman, behold your Son. Son, Behold your mother :

These Words from the Cross are recorded in John's Gospel. Jesus Christ is speaking to his own mother and to the one known as the "Beloved Disciple". His concern is to establish a new family relationship for his mother, giving her someone to care for her.

It is perhaps the most intimate moment recorded from the crucifixion. Our relationships specially with those we love and with whom we share a life history but also with all whose lives intersect with ours, matter.

Jesus Christ creates a new bond among us.

6. I Thirst :

These words found only in John are related to John's account of Jesus's description of himself as "LIVING WATER".

There is at once, a very human and a spiritual aspect to this cry. On the one hand, Jesus Christ suffers and thirsts as would all humans, but beyond this there is the theme of the deepest human longings for God and for God's transforming, loving, and life - giving presence in our lives.

7.  It is Finished !!

John's final words from the dying Jesus Christ are a cry of victory. Jesus Christ, the incarnate love of God has loved to the very end. He has loved inspite of betrayal, torture, humiliation, and suffering. He has loved enough to die as we all will die.

Credits : Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
              March 2010 Vol 11 No 11