Bishop prays for God’s Mercy during the Covid-19 crisis.
Bishop Carmel spoke to the many people who had clicked on to the special Divine Mercy mass streamed from the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned either online or via television last month, during the time of Covid-19 lockdown.
Adressing his comments to the camera instead of the congregation, the Bishop suggested that in the situation we are living in today, we ask that the Lord have mercy on us. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever!”1 Bishop Carmel continued, let us make our own Psalmist’s exclamation which we sang in the Responsorial Psalm: “The Lord’s mercy endures forever!
This proclamation, this confession of trust in the all-powerful love of God, is especially needed in our own time, when mankind is experiencing bewilderment in the face of the Covid-19 Crisis. The invocation of God’s mercy needs to rise up from the depth of our hearts filled with suffering, apprehension, and uncertainty, and at the same time yearning for an infallible source of hope.
Like St. Faustina, we wish to proclaim that apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind. We desire to repeat with faith: Jesus, I trust in you!
Jesus in his ministry forgave sins, something that scandalized the leaders of the Jews.
Jesus on the cross implores forgiveness for His torturers and opens the gates of heaven to repentant sinners. Even after the Resurrection of the Son of God, he speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to His eternal love for man… Believing in this love means believing in mercy”2
In the Divine Mercy icon the Lord also shows us His glorious wounds and His Heart, an inexhaustible source of light and truth, of love and forgiveness.
Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.
What happens on the very day when Christ rose from the dead, in his very first appearance to the disciples: what are his first words to them? “Peace be with you,” he says twice.
Bishop Carmel pointed out that Jesus does not reproach his disciples who all ran away to save themselves in the face of the crowds calling for crucifixion.
And then what does he say? “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 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 sins you retain are retained.”
This first gift of Easter is itself an act of mercy. God has given a sacramental and thus tangible form to the imparting of His mercy.
This is the institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Bishop Carmel reminds us, an Easter gift to the Church.
St. Faustina Kowalska saw coming from this Heart that was overflowing with generous love, two rays of light which illuminated the world.
The two rays, [according to what Jesus Himself told her], that denote blood and water3. The blood recalls the sacrifice of Golgotha and the mystery of the Eucharist; the water, according to the rich symbolism of the Evangelist John, makes us think of Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Spirit.4
“Jesus, I trust in You!”
This prayer, dear to so many of the devout, clearly expresses the attitude with which we too would like to abandon ourselves trustfully in Your hands, 0 Lord, our only Saviour.
The rays of Your Divine Mercy restore hope, in a special way, to those who feel overwhelmed by the burden of sin.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us always to have this trust in your Son, our Redeemer. Help us too, St. Faustina, whom we remember today with special affection. Fixing our weak gaze on the divine Saviour’s face, we would like to repeat with you: “Jesus, I trust in You!” Now and for ever. Amen.
- Ps 117:1
- Rich in Mercy, 7
- Diary, 299
- Jn 3:5; 4:14