We are now officially in the Easter season, and the first Sunday after every Easter is known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Divine Mercy image has become an iconic reminder of the unfathomable mercy that Jesus desires to lavish upon any and all who ask. This image was the result of a vision of Jesus that Sister Maria Faustina experienced in 1931. In her vision, Jesus appeared to her wearing a white robe, his hand raised in blessing. His other hand touched his robe at the level of his heart from which two rays flowed out. The red ray represents his love which is life for souls, and the white ray represents water to cleanse souls. Under his image he asked for the words: Jesus I trust in you, to be placed. He instructed Sister Faustina to have an artist paint the image of him as she had seen it, and that the first Sunday following Easter be dedicated to particular devotion to the mercy of Jesus. This weekend, we also celebrate our five Confirmation youth who have been preparing for and are now receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. What is a sacrament? The Catechism in article 1131 defines sacraments as“efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.” In other words, the sacraments are visible signs of an invisible grace –the divine life of God—who is there to meet us in each of the sacraments. The Holy Spirit descended as of tongues of fire upon the heads of the apostles at Pentecost, a Jewish feast celebrated fifty days after Jesus resurrection, equipping them with the courage and conviction to bravely and boldly share the gospel and defend the faith. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, counselor, encourager, and cultivator of the fruits and gifts that enable us to grow in virtue. In Confirmation, specifically, we are anointed as priest, prophet, and king to confidently serve others, proclaim the gospel, and build up Christ’s kingdom here on earth using our gifts and talents to the benefit of all God’s people under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Those newly confirmed are called to go forth into the world, always with the words Jesus trust in you’ on their lips, faithful dispensers of Christ’s unfathomable mercy which we celebrate today. As taken from St. Maria Faustina’s diary, “Oh Savior of the world. I unite myself with your mercy. My Jesus, I join all my sufferings to yours and deposit them in the treasury of the Church for the benefit of souls” (Dairy, 295). “Suddenly, I saw the Lord Jesus, who said to me, Be at peace, my child. See, you are not alone. My heart watches over you” (Diary, 316).