• Deacon Bob Evans

We All Need God's Divine Mercy


In John’s Gospel, we hear that on the first Sunday after Easter, Jesus entrusted His Apostles with not just proclaiming God’s Divine Mercy but literally bringing God’s Divine Mercy to the world through the forgiveness of sins [cf. John 20:19-31].

This year, April 19 is the first Sunday after Easter; it is known as Divine Mercy Sunday – the day we’re reminded again of God’s abundant mercy. And, we so much need that reminding in our present situation. Let me explain.

God’s greatest expression of mercy was Jesus’ dying for our sins that we might again have access to eternal life with the Father. Our salvation is a freely given gift of God, we cannot earn it; no matter how hard we try.

Rather, we must accept that gift by living our lives in accord with God’s will. But the story doesn’t end there. For, there’s an occasion, recounted in Mark’s Gospel, when Jesus’ disciples were astonished at His teachings and they exclaimed, “then, who can be saved?” [Mk 10:26]. Jesus replied, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God,” [Mk 10:27].

This is essential for us to understand: as fallen creatures, we not only cannot earn our salvation, but we cannot even fully accept it without God’s help. We must have divine merciful help, throughout our lifetime, in order for us to enter into eternal life with God in heaven. And, that divine merciful help is known as “grace.” Grace is what enables us to live out God’s will for us in this life.

We all have in common the threat of the coronavirus – regardless of our station in life, our religious affiliation, our gender, or where we live. And, we all have in common that

we need God’s divine merciful help in our lives. As I said, April 19th is Divine Mercy Sunday. It was first celebrated by Pope St John Paul II in 2000. In the beautiful Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we repeat: “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” And, Jesus did just that in providing us grace, God’s divine merciful help, not just to get us through situations like this pandemic but throughout our whole life’s journey back to the Father.

This time of social distancing and isolation will end. We will again celebrate in community. But as this pandemic becomes just a memory, many may be in danger of making a very serious mistake. Having become used to not going to church, it may become a way of life. We must not forget why we go to church. Yes, fellowship in community is important, but we go to church because that is where we receive the grace, the divine merciful help we need for our salvation.

This all will pass, soon. So, stay home, stay safe, and stay close to Jesus by making the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (which I have included below) a part of your daily prayer life.

‘Till next time.

Dcn. Bob Evans

April 17, 2020

Scripture references

John 20:19-31; Mark 10:26-27

How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. (repeat 3 times) O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Repeat five times the following Prayer to the Father & the set of 10 Pleas for Mercy

Prayer to the Father

(on Our Father bead)

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

Plea for Mercy

(on Hail Mary beads)

(repeat 10 times)

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Concluding

(repeat 3 times)

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

(repeat 3 times)

Jesus, I trust in You.

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