In light of the glory of Easter, the Church’s greatest Feast, we journey toward the grand finale, the Octave of Easter known as Divine Mercy Sunday. If that were not enough, this present Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy adds weight to the promise of extravagant grace. Our faithful Lord will do His part to open the floodgates of mercy upon aching humanity. He promised that much.
Our part is to avail ourselves of the liturgical celebrations in our parishes and dioceses wherein a treasury of grace is obtainable. In the shadow of the increasing global grief, trauma, and threat, the convergence of this Feast and Jubilee of Mercy seems providentially designed to heal. Divine Mercy is far beyond an optional devotion; it is the heart of Sacred Scripture. This past Easter Sunday, Pope Francis stated, “Only mercy can save the world”. We must use this great opportunity to save poor sinners, to heal “aching mankind”.
Christ said to St. Faustina, “Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not wish to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart” (Diary 1588) (Emphasis mine). Let us ponder the Lord’s words. Christ refers to us as “aching mankind”. His response to our “ache” is to “press us to His Merciful Heart”. In doing so, healing occurs. Let us consider this.
The Catechism (1432) helps us to understand the “ache” of the human heart: “The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: “Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that you may be restored!” God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced.” Now let us look at what is meant by “heart” in Sacred Scripture.
The Catechism (2563) teaches us, “The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place “to which I withdraw.” The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation; it is the place of covenant.”
How beautiful that Jesus said, “I desire to heal aching mankind, pressing it into My Merciful Heart”. He gently draws our aching heart into His merciful heart where we are incorporated into His healing love.
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