We move from the Joyful Mysteries to the Glorious ones. Jesus has risen from the grave and appears to Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, perhaps another Mary as well, then to the Apostles. It is the women who Jesus first appears to all in the Gospels accounts except for Luke which just has the Emmaus encounter. Let us keep the Resurrection in our minds this week as those gather in Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day. In this year of mercy let us reflect upon these Mysteries as Mary can be considered as Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix as well as an advocate for us in heaven. Following in the lead of Pope St. John Paul II let us all turn to Mary with affection as a child to their mother. If you have some time over the next several days perhaps pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for all those in Poland as well as the world in general. We need to be like the women going to the tomb and learning that it is empty bring this message out to the world.
This week the readings come from Acts 5:12-16; Psalm 118; Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; and John’s Gospel 20:19-31.
In case you missed it this is the Second Sunday in Easter or more commonly known as Divine Mercy Sunday, your church might be praying the Chaplet today at 3pm, they are go and pray it. Today the readings focus on Faith with the story of Doubting Thomas in the Gospel. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have still believed.” This gospel reading is the only one across all three years of the cycle. If you look at the Divine Mercy image you understand it right away, as in the image Jesus is blessing us with his left hand pointing toward his chest with red and pale (white) rays coming from his heart. Just like at the Crucifixion blood and water flow from Jesus, below the image is usually the phrase “Jesus, I Trust in You.” We need to put our trust in Jesus, we don’t get to be like Thomas and ask to see his hand and feet and side to prove that it is actually Jesus but we will know it is him through love.
“Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.”
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.
This is the most difficult one to pray as we look inwards to ourselves. Since generally speaking we are all lukewarm at times, sometimes we burn for the faith but often times we focus more on the world around us. This is a hard things to remind us about a week after we all were being pious and serious about our faith during the season of Lent. With the fasting and the abstaining from meat along with whatever else we might have “given up” for Lent, but how many of us have already had/ done what they gave up for Lent sure the obligation is over but just because it’s not Lent isn’t an excuse for falling back to the person we were before Lent began.
“Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.”
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.
Today we take the time to reflect on those we went before us marked with the sign of faith and are currently in Purgatory, that in-between place where souls are purified before entering heaven. It is the second book in Dante’s Divine Comedy where it is depicted as a mountain tiered by the seven deadly sins. topped with Paradise. We need to continue to pray for all souls in purgatory and teach other to do so in order that when we are there our time of purification may be short.
“Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.”
Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:
Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.
This should be all individuals especially this year as we celebrate the Year of Mercy. We are constantly focusing on the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord that mercy should become second nature for us all. On Easter, Pope Francis in his Urbi et Orbi said that “Before the spiritual and moral abysses of mankind, before the chasms that open up in hearts and provoke hatred and death, only an infinite mercy can bring us salvation. Only God can fill those chasms with his love, prevent us from falling into them and help us to continue our journey together towards the land of freedom and life.” We all need mercy in our lives and should be willing to show mercy to others and the same is true with love.
“Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.”
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
The young have a vital role to play in the Church since they are the future. However this is also a reminder to us that Jesus tells us in the Gospel that unless we become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. We see it many times through out the gospel, in the beatitudes, with the camel through an eye of a needle or the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Every one need to humble themselves so that we may be exulted.
“Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion.”
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son’s Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Today, we turn to those who have separated themselves because of sin or just stopped going. This is a serious problem that the Church is facing as many young adult are just not showing up, they get confirmed and then leave the church when they go to high school or college, until perhaps they get married. Then there are those Cultural Catholics who show up at Christmas and Easter and that’s it. Sure it is a problem but it can and will only be fixed with better priests and bishops leading the church. I know that Pope Francis has emphasized that a shepherd should smell like his sheep, but I don’t know how his Bishop appointments are and it seems too early to say anything for certain about priests. I know Pope John Paul II inspired many young men to become priests, but they are just now at the beginning of their ministry.
“Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me, I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.”
Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
We go from praying for all the faithful to all those who don’t believe. This novena covers all people and we aren’t praying that they convert outright but that they have some understanding of the Divine Mercy that the Lord provides and that they are kept in the heart of Christ just like the faithful. It is just like in Genesis when Abraham pleaded with the Lord for the sake of Sodom, where Abraham haggles with the Lord from finding fifty righteous people in all of Sodom to that of only ten righteous people. The Lord answers that for the sake of the ten I will not destroy it. There are many people who are righteous living in the world and although they do no know God, the Lord cares about these people as much as the faithful.
“Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
On this Blessed Easter day we focus on all faithful souls living and dead as humankind is linked with the life of Christ. Let us try in these next fifty days to be different from the bitterness that the world has become all around us and in doing so inspire the world to become a better place.
“Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Today we turn our focus on all those who we often forget about, the priests and the men and women religious. Perhaps we could pray for an increase in religious vocations. These men and women have an important role as many have taken a role in education others in health care. Many of the Saints are religious men and women so we can look to them and those living as examples of how to live our lives.