Celebrant: With trust in the Divine Mercy, we now bring all our prayers before the Lord.
That the Mercy of our Risen Savior may draw all sinners to the fountain of repentance, forgiveness, and healing, we pray to the Lord...
That world leaders may never doubt the power of God's truth and love, but rather take refuge in it as they seek to resolve international problems, we pray to the Lord...
That as the apostles shared all their goods, Christians may share their goods with those who feel they cannot carry their pregnancy to term, and assist them to choose life, we pray to the Lord...
That all priests may be effective and compassionate ministers of reconciliation as they administer the Sacrament of Penance, given to us by the Risen Christ, we pray to the Lord...
That all the sick, and those who suffer in any way, may be consoled and strengthened by God's grace and the care shown by His people, we pray to the Lord...
That all who have died may come to share the Resurrection, we pray to the Lord...
we need your mercy.
As you answer our prayers,
Fill us with the joy that comes from hope,
And grant us the life that conquers death.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Divine Mercy and Pro-life
Pope Saint John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday. Many of the faithful pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy regularly. There is a link between this devotion and the pro-life movement. Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who was a principal translator of St. Faustina's diary, and the postulator of her cause of canonization, writes the following: "On at least three occasions, from 8:00-11:00 in the evening, she felt like her insides were being torn apart. She suffered so much that she thought she was going to die. The doctors couldn't figure out what was ailing her, and no medication was able to alleviate her sufferings. Later, she was given to understand that she was undergoing those pains for mothers who were aborting their children (Diary, 1276). "On another occasion, she had a vision of an angel coming with thunderbolts to destroy one of the most beautiful cities of her country. And she felt powerless to do anything about it (Diary, 474). What antidote did the Lord give her? The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. [She explained] that the city was to be chastised for its sins, primarily the sin of abortion." ("Wombs of Mercy," Marian Helpers Bulletin, Summer 1995, p.13).
1 Pt 1:3-9
Jn 20:19-31 (43)
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It is one thing to doubt the fact that Jesus is risen, as Thomas did. We, however, are more likely to doubt the power flowing from that Resurrection, -- a power that can keep us from sin. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, but mercy is not to be confused with presumption or permission to sin. In fact, it is precisely in giving us commandments that, as the second reading tells us, “are not burdensome,” that God shows his mercy. It is not simply our weakness that “God understands.” He understands, first of all, our need of him, and the fact that we flourish only by living a life in union with his will. Therefore, his mercy provides us with every ounce of strength we need to actually fulfill the commandments, which is the same as to fulfill the demands of love.
Love has concrete demands, beginning with a reverence and absolute respect for one another’s lives, and the lives of the weakest and most vulnerable in our midst. Actions that deliberately take innocent human life are always contrary to love. Yet “his commandments are not burdensome,” because by our faith in his Resurrection, we have the power to love as he loves, even to the point of sacrificing ourselves as he sacrificed himself.
Thomas found the strength to believe when he returned to the unity of the Church. Perhaps when Thomas was missing on Easter night, he was out looking for Jesus on his own. After all, he was the kind of person who wanted to see for himself. But he actually found Jesus only when he returned to be with Peter and the other apostles. We too will find the strength to believe, to carry out the commandments, and to respect every human life, when we maintain close unity with the Church, the community of believers built on the apostles.