Sunday, April 3, 2016


Does your parish altar have Pope Francis' altar arrangement yet??????
Pope Francis celebrates Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday in St Peter's Square, 3 April 2016. - AFP
Pope Francis celebrates Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday in St Peter's Square, 3 April 2016. - AFP
03/04/2016 13:09
The official translation of Pope Francis’ homily for Divine Mercy Sunday is below:

“Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book” (Jn 20:30). The Gospel is the book of God’s mercy, to be read and reread, because everything that Jesus said and did is an expression of the Father’s mercy. Not everything, however, was written down; the Gospel of mercy remains an open book, in which the signs of Christ’s disciples, which are concrete acts of love and the best witness to mercy, continue to be written. We are all called to become living writers of the Gospel, heralds of the Good News to all men and women today. We do this by practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which are the hallmarks of the Christian life. By means of these simple yet powerful gestures, even when unseen, we can accompany the needy, bringing God’s tenderness and consolation. Thus continues the work of Jesus on Easter day, when he poured into the hearts of his fearful disciples the Father’s mercy, bringing them the Holy Spirit who forgives sins and brings joy.

At the same time, the story we have just heard presents an evident contrast: on the one hand, there is the fear of the disciples, who gathered behind closed doors; on the other hand, there is the mission of Jesus, who sends them into the world to proclaim the message of forgiveness. This contrast may also be present in us, experienced as an interior struggle between a closed heart and the call of love to open doors closed by sin. It is a call that frees us to go out of ourselves. Christ, who for love entered through doors barred by sin, death and the powers of hell, wants to enter into each one of us to break open the locked doors of our hearts. Jesus, who by his resurrection has overcome the fear and dread which imprison us, wishes to throw open our closed doors and send us out. The path that the Risen Master shows us is a one way street, it goes in only one direction: this means that we must move beyond ourselves to witness to the healing power of love that has conquered us. We see before us a humanity that is often wounded and fearful, a humanity that bears the scars of pain and uncertainty. Before the anguished cry for mercy and peace, Jesus confidently exhorts us: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21).

In God’s mercy, all of our infirmities find healing. His mercy, in fact, does not keep a distance: it seeks to encounter all forms of poverty and to free this world of so many types of slavery. Mercy desires to reach the wounds of all, to heal them. Being apostles of mercy means touching and soothing the wounds that today afflict the bodies and souls of many of our brothers and sisters. Curing these wounds, we profess Jesus, we make him present and alive; we allow others, who touch his mercy with their own hands, to recognize him as “Lord and God” (Jn 20:28), as did the Apostle Thomas. This is the mission that he entrusts to us. So many people ask to be listened to and to be understood. The Gospel of mercy, to be proclaimed and written in our daily lives, seeks people with patient and open hearts, “good Samaritans” who understand compassion and silence before the mystery of each brother and sister. The Gospel of mercy requires generous and joyful servants, people who love freely without expecting anything in return.

“Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:21) is the greeting of Jesus to his disciples; this same peace awaits men and women of our own day. It is not a negotiated peace, it is not the absence of conflict: it is his peace, the peace that comes from the heart of the Risen Lord, the peace that has defeated sin, fear and death. It is a peace that does not divide but unites; it is a peace that does not abandon us but makes us feel listened to and loved; it is a peace that persists even in pain and enables hope to blossom. This peace, as on the day of Easter, is born ever anew by the forgiveness of God which calms our anxious hearts. To be bearers of his peace: this is the mission entrusted to the Church on Easter day. In Christ, we are born to be instruments of reconciliation, to bring the Father’s forgiveness to everyone, to reveal his loving face through concrete gestures of mercy.

In the responsorial Psalm we heard these words: “His love endures forever” (Ps 117/118:2). Truly, God’s mercy is forever; it never ends, it never runs out, it never gives up when faced with closed doors, and it never tires. In this forever we find strength in moments of trial and weakness because we are sure that God does not abandon us. He remains with usforever. Let us give thanks for so great a love, which we find impossible to grasp. Let us ask for the grace to never grow tired of drawing from the well of the Father’s mercy and bringing it to the world: let us ask that we too may be merciful, to spread the power of the Gospel everywhere.


George said...

His Mercy endures forever.

The Divine and Merciful Sun has risen with rays of spiritual and grace filled light which shine forth with an everlasting splendor far greater than that of any earthly luminance. By the grace of God are the clouds of sin over us parted so that we can benefit from the the light of the Divine Son. By His Mercy and to our benefit, God allows the Divine sunlight to penetrate to us only so much in accordance with our state of spiritual readiness.

God created the earth in six days and having created man, rested on the seventh. Now God knowing His Divine plan, saw present before His Divine Majesty the Eighth day in which the light of the Eternal Sun would rise in splendor on that Glorious morn of the New Day of Salvation. Christ, the Son of God, would come forth as the Divine Light in triumph over the darkness of sin and death, coming forth from the darkness of the tomb.The Son of God came into our existence, the Light of the New Day of Salvation, in order to bring man out of the darkness of the Night of Sin. Our God is Love, and by His Divine Mercy and Holy Will, His love is made manifest. What is mercy but love in action?. Merciful is our God, whose death slew death, so that those faithful to Him could be glorified into Eternal life.

Just as Christ came forth from His mother in the darkness of a cave on that Glorious and Holy morn, so to He came forth from the the darkness of the tomb at His Resurrection, the Eternal Sun rising in splendor on that resplendent morn in the New Day of Salvation. And so Christ came forth- the Divine Light, in triumph over the darkness of sin and death. He came forth, just as at the beginning Creation came forth, to fill the void of darkness. The light of created things brought illumination to dispel the darkness that was there. "All things came to be through Him and without Him nothing came to be. What came through Him was life and this life was the light of the human race. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it" Just as at the beginning, the physical matter of Creation expanded and brought light to the darkness, so also Christ, in the form of His teachings and disciples, would expand from the darkness of the tomb to fill the earth with His Divine Light and Mercy.

Anonymous said...

Does your parish altar have Pope Francis' altar arrangement yet??????

Yours doesn't !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Communion in the hand. Lots of vernacular. The Church of Rome. Unbelievable.

Michael said...

That's true - the candles are best on the altar, not next to it. It makes a versus populum Mass look more... Catholic. :)

Anonymous said...

Communion in the hand? Why, that is how it was done in the early I guess you had better take your complaint to the early Church fathers. Distribution of communion has varied in both the East and West over the centuries...that is a small "t" tradition, not a big "T" one like the Trinity, Virgin Birth, apostolic succession and the like....