“Christ … demonstrates to us His mercy. If we trust in Him, He will never abandon us.”
On April 30, 2000 Pope John Paul II recognized Mary Faustyna Kowalska as a saint, numbered among the souls in heaven. At the same time he fulfilled one of Saint Faustyna’s requests, that the second Sunday of Easter be reserved to honor and commemorate God’s infinite mercy.
Why the second Sunday of Easter?
On the Second Sunday of Easter the Church traditionally remembers the first appearance of Jesus to His disciples after His resurrection. It is on this occasion that Christ establishes the Sacrament of Reconciliation, popularly referred to as confession.
We are creatures of both flesh and spirit. We have a physical earthly life and as well as a spiritual “divine” life. These two lives are intimately connected and when one suffers, the other is also affected.
Our spiritual life, our spiritual well being, is sustained by our relationship with God. When we have mortal sin on our conscience, a sin of serious nature that we have knowingly and obstinately indulged in, that sin damages our relationship with God. As a result of this damage, this weakening of our bond with God, our spiritual life begins to die and we are threatened with the loss of the sanctifying grace we received at Baptism. Eventually the death of our spiritual nature would affect our physical life as well. This is why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is sometimes called the sacrament of the dead.
Through sin we become spiritually dead and live a darkened existence. But today Christ establishes the Sacrament of Reconciliation and imparts to His apostles and their successors the power to forgive sins in His name. Through this sacrament we are absolved of the mortal sin that separates us from God and sanctifying grace is restored to us. We partake of the divine life of Jesus and share in the vitality of the Resurrection of the dead. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, like Baptism, restores us to life and light.
That Christ gave us this sacrament demonstrates to us His mercy. If we trust in Him, He will never abandon us.
Saint Faustyna Kowalska recorded in her diary several visions in which Christ appeared to her and spoke with her. Through these visions Our Lord directed the nun to foster a devotion to His Divine Mercy.
In the ancient world many of the afflictions we suffer were mysteriously linked to sin. But Jesus extends His mercy to the world by sending His apostles out to heal the sick and drive out unclean spirits. They perform many signs and wonders among the people.
The Lord of Life, who holds the keys to death and the netherworld, gives life through His Church.
As Children of God, we are called to be like Him. How can we demonstrate His mercy in our everyday lives? How can we help to spread that mercy throughout the world? We can start by reconciling our relationships that have become strained or broken. Let us follow in the footsteps of Christ and take the first steps towards healing the divisions among us.
2nd Sunday of Easter
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© Lawrence Klimecki
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Deacon Lawrence draws on ancient Christian tradition to create new contemporary art that seeks to connect the physical and the spiritual.. For more information on original art, prints and commissions, Please visit www.DeaconLawrence.org
Lawrence Klimecki, MSA, is a deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento. He is a public speaker, writer, and artist, reflecting on the intersection of art and faith