Divine Mercy Sunday is being celebrated more often. People may not be all that well informed. Or maybe have no idea what it is. Or why it is even celebrated. Or why do we need it.
Some people know about Saint Sister Faustina and her incredible visions. And as her case was presented to the Vatican there were some errors in the original translations that raised questions of authenticity but those have been corrected. So, as of April 30, 2000, when Sister Faustina Kowalska was canonized, by Saint Pope John Paul II, the second Sunday of Easter was formally names as Divine Mercy Sunday.
In Sister Faustina’s visions, Jesus instructed Sister Faustina about His infinite Divine Mercy. He makes His mercy available to all, but not everyone accepts His Divine Mercy. Perhaps they do not know why His Divine Mercy is necessary for their redemption.
You would think that the suffering and rising from the dead would be all you would need. And for the forgiveness of sins, it is. Jesus’ Passion is our redemption. But we know that even when our sins are forgiven, there is a penance or a restitution that needs to be done. Sin is a turning away from God, no matter how the small the sin. And a sin committed by you impacts other people even if we do not see how or understand how that happens.
An example: a father tells his son to play soccer away from the house. The son does not listen and kicks the ball through a window of the house. The son has committed a sin. Now he must do penance for that sin, he must pay to have the window repaired. Is everything resolved? No, with the window broken, insects can come into the home, dust and dirt can blow into the home, broken glass needs to be picked up, and as you can see many other people are affected by the broken window. Restitution needs to be made for all these other issues.
A stain remains on your soul until these issues have been resolved. Think of the different sins you have committed and reflect on the various people your sin has affected even if you did not sin directly upon them.
Divine Mercy was given to us to not only forgive our sins but cleanse our soul of the temporal punishments attributed to our sins. The Church teaches that if we receive communion on Divine Mercy Sunday and go to confession either twenty days before or twenty days after Divine Mercy Sunday we will receive a Plenary Indulgence that not only forgives us our sins but wipes away all temporal punishments.
Our souls will be wiped clean, as clean as they were when we first baptized. This is such a powerful gift of grace from our Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone that can should do all they can to receive this gift of grace.
Therefore, we have the Octave of Easter. We are redeemed by Jesus’ Resurrection and our sins forgiven and punishment removed by His gift of Divine Mercy.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen