God's Mercy! The Greatest! Jesus, I Trust in You!

Mary Magdalene With Jesus
Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, King David, the woman at the well (Jn. 4) and the woman caught in adultery (Jn. 8), the little “Tree-climber” Zachaeus, and finally the Good thief--- what did this entourage of motley individuals all have in common???? One thing! THE MERCY OF GOD!!!!  They were all sinners; they fell out of the boat, sunk in the mud—some up to their necks---- but they all turned to one redeeming quality: TRUST IN GOD’S INFINITE MERCY!

 EASTER.   The “Solemnity of Solemnities” every year is Easter Sunday. “The Lord Jesus is truly risen from the dead, never to die again, Alleluia!” By far, this is the most sublime and glorious of all Feast days--- technically called “Solemnity!” Given the sublime and divine character of this event, by no stretch of the imagination could it be possible to celebrate the Lord’s triumph over sin, the devil and death in one 24 hour day!  Therefore, the Easter day is not one 24 hour day, but a full eight days it is celebrated--- up until the Octave which lands on the new Solemnity instituted by Blessed Pope John Paul II the year 2000, on the Second Sunday of Easter.   The same day was the first canonization of the New Millennium and guess who John Paul canonized to kick off the new millennium? None other than Saint Faustina Kowlaska, “The Secretary of Divine Mercy.”

The following essay has as its purpose to get to know, love, extol and praise the MERCY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!   With the Psalmist let our hearts explode with joy acclaiming:  “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His mercy endures forever.”

Ten Hallmarks of the Infinite Mercy of Jesus
SUBLIMITY OF MERCY!  Both Blessed Pope John Paul II as well as Saint Faustina Kowalska agreed mutually on this conclusion: MERCY IN GOD is by far His greatest attribute or virtue. This being the case we should all make a concerted effort to get to know what mercy is, to meditate on God’s mercy, to allow God’s mercy to fill our hearts and finally to live out the “Gospel of mercy” in our modern world so filled with anger, resentment and a desire for hatred and revenge! May God’s mercy triumph!
JESUS’ ARDENT DESIRE.  Jesus’ most ardent desire, a desire that like a fire is consuming His Sacred Heart, is to bestow upon all the treasures of His Infinite mercy.  Like an infinite abyss, like a fathomless ocean, like the grains of sand on the seashore, like the stars speckling the sky, God’s mercy is infinite!

FREE OF CHARGE.  Usually precious and rare items like gold, diamonds, rubies and emeralds are highly costly—beyond the range of most.  Interesting as it may seem, God’s gifts are by far the most precious, but also they are gratuitous, absolutely free of charge. Jesus’ mercy is for your taking and receiving and assimilating in your heart. Listen to the Words of Jesus Himself: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mt. 7:7) Why not ask of Jesus’ mercy? 
The Merciful Father Embraces the Prodigal Son
MEANING OF “MERCY”.  The etymology of the word from Latin is MISERICORDIA.  This is a compound word with two parts: “Miseria”--- meaning misery (Moral-misery or sin) “Cordia”--- meaning heart. (God’s heart). God’s loving and merciful heart meets with the sinner and lovingly and tenderly forgives. The best example is the Parable of the Prodigal Son or if you like “The merciful Father.” (Lk. 15: 11-32).  The moral misery of man is great, but God’s loving and merciful heart is greater. As St. Paul reminds us: “Where sin abounds, the mercy of God abounds all the more.”

GOD’S MERCY IS IMMEDIATE!   The Psalmist teaches us: “God is slow to anger and rich in kindness (mercy.)”   The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, tender, kind and infinitely merciful is ready to forgive us in an instant, in the bat of an eye, as quick as a heartbeat.  Pope Francis recalled this truth, preaching on Mercy, saying that God never gets tired of forgiving us (His mercy is infinite); but we get tired of asking for His mercy!  Our problem is that we compare God to ourselves--- We are slow to forgive and quick to anger!!! God the exact opposite! Praise God’s mercy!

SINNERS HIS FAVORITES!   The merciful Heart of Jesus has His favorites and those are the most hardened sinners.  Jesus expressed clearly and unequivocally to Saint Faustina in the Diary that the greatest sin is not so much sin itself but the lack of trust in His infinite mercy. Indeed, the greatest sinners can become the greatest saints upon one simple condition: LIMITLESS TRUST IN HIS MERCY!!!  Remember the Good thief. A terrible sinner all his life, thief, murderer insurrectionist, at the very end of his life he turned to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus, moved to the depths of His most merciful and compassionate Heart, responded immediately: “Amen I say to you: today you will be with me in Paradise.” This great sinner became a great saint instantaneously. Why? His trust in Jesus’ Infinite Mercy!

Judas Betrays Jesus With a Kiss
 DEVIL’S TOOL: DESPAIR!   One of the principal and most powerful tools of the devil is to convince the sinner that his sin is so great that it goes beyond the pale of God’s mercy. What are the words and tactics of the devil? “You fell again; God is angry at you; He will not forgive you! God is tired and fed up with you. Just end it and give up and throw in the towel!” Who gave into this? Judas Iscariot. If he were to have repented, all throughout the world there would be churches with the title “Saint Judas Iscariot, the penitent.”  This church does not exist because he gave into despair. May God save us. Jesus I trust in you!

INCOMPREHENSIBLE! The depths, width, length and profundity of God’s mercy go way beyond our limited understanding.  Jesus told Saint Faustina that even the angels in heaven--- who have a much more keen intellect than any human person—cannot plumb the depths of God’s Infinite mercy.

CONFESSION.  How and in what way is the most efficacious path to experiencing Jesus’ infinite mercy?  For Catholics it is by means of a Sacrament; that Sacrament is the Sacrament of Confession/Penance/ Reconciliation/Forgiveness.  The Gospel for Mercy Sunday is actually the Gospel of the Institution of the Sacrament of Confession.  “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose you retain are retained.” (Jn. 20:21-23). What consoling words to hear after unloading your sins:   “I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Your sins are forgiven, go in peace!

GOD’S GREAT GIFT FOR MERCY SUNDAY:  TOTALLY NEW LIFE!  For those who have made a well-prepared, humble and sincere confession in the Lenten Season or Easter week, then they participate in Mass on Mercy Sunday and receive Holy Communion with great love and devotion, and have the intention to fight against and give up sin in their life, then Jesus promises forgiveness of all sins as well as remission of all temporal punishment.  In concrete, this is comparable to a second Baptism and if one were to die then, he would go straight to heaven.  An interesting note, Blessed Pope John Paul II, who promoted and lived out Divine Mercy to its very essence and core, died the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, having received Holy Communion and also it was  the first Saturday of the month,(in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) April 2, 2005. Nothing happens by chance! Rather, all is directed by God’s merciful and providential Hand!

Concluding Marian Note on Mercy

Of course the Merciful Heart of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was formed for nine months in the Immaculate Heart and womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  One of the greatest Marian Literary Masterpieces was written by the Doctor of the Church, Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori, The Glories of Mary.   This masterpiece is a commentary on the prayer to Mary, “The Hail Holy Queen.”  One of the key themes of the work is that in God there are two opposing attributes: His Mercy and His Justice. However in the Blessed Virgin Mary there is only one: HER MERCY!!! In other words, Mary is the Incarnate manifestation of God’s mercy. For that simple reason we should never, never, never, be afraid to approach God’s throne of mercy through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy.  “Never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection was left unaided….” (The Memorare or Saint Bernard).  “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of MERCY….  Our life, our sweetness and our hope.  Fulton Sheen describes the demise and debacle of the poor Judas because he failed to look into the eyes of Mary, which would have melted his hardened heart. May the Immaculate and merciful Heart of Mary attain for us a total and limitless trust in the Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU! JESUS I TRUST IN YOU! JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!