News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April 2022: The Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)
The origins of Divine Mercy Sunday can only be traced back to the end of the 20th Century, when Pope John Paul II was presiding at the Mass for the Canonisation of Saint Faustina Kowalska. Maria Faustina Kowalska was born in Poland in 1905. At the age of 19, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. During her short life, she received visions from Our Lord, including one of Jesus wearing a white garment with beams of red and white coming from His heart. This became known as the image of Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy Sunday focuses on the gift of mercy and love given through Christ's death, burial and resurrection. In his address during the canonisation mass, Pope John Paul II said: “From that heart [of Christ], Sister Faustina Kowalska, the blessed whom from now on we will call a saint, will see two rays of light shining from that heart and illuminating the world.” The rays of light are beleived to represent blood and water; the sacrifice of the Cross and the gift of the Eucharist, and the water of Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In the Good News of the Gospel according to John, Jesus commissions the apostles with the words: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” Divine Mercy Sunday gives us the opportunity to seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation. As we too have received the Holy Spirit through Baptism and Confirmation, we too are comissioned to take the Good News of the Gospel into our communities.
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 23rd April at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 24th April at 10.30am. Both of these are opportunities to offer our thanks for Christ's mercy and love, and to renew our commitment to spread the Good News.
“Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”