Thought for the Day – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday
What many do not know is that St John Paul II had been anticipating preaching a homily on Divine Mercy Sunday 2005 at a new parish in Albis, Rome. It was dedicated to God, the Merciful Father. We all watched with grief as his health rapidly declined during that Lent of 2005. He began to prepare his homily for the event, what some believe may be the last handwritten lines of our saintly pontiff. He left this world hours before it was to be delivered.
It would be his successor, Benedict XVI, who would deliver to that community the pope’s final words . In fact Pope Benedict called them St John Paul II’s spiritual last will and testament. It’s clear he didn’t intend them solely for a parish in the suburbs but for all of us. It represents his final mercy mandate to the world. ”To humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles and re-opens hearts to hope. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace.”
Ten years later, with the emergence of unimagined evils perpetrated by groups like ISIS and others, we may be more overwhelmed than ever. Jesus and the Gospel are our only hope. He continued, “How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!…Jesus I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.”
This Divine Mercy Sunday invites us each to evaluate our lives in light of St John Paul II and the Church’s profound message of mercy. Take a few moments to reflect on the meaning of your life, evaluate your plans and goals. Consider where you spend your attention, energy and affection. Gathered together would a fitting summary of your life be, “Here was one who modelled God’s Divine Mercy in prayer, word and deed. Here was one who loved, forgave, pardoned, reconciled and reopened hearts to hope”? It is my prayer for you and it is certainly possible by God’s grace and the intercession of St Faustina and St John Paul II……Thomas Smith – writer/presenter/speaker and more