It was a far cry from what Jesus confided to St Faustina: 'No soul will be justified until it turns with confidence to My Mercy, and that is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy. On that day, priests are to tell everyone about my great and unfathomable Mercy….Tell the confessor that the Image is to be on view in the church…By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it.' From passage 570 'Divine Mercy in my Soul'
Maybe they lack homily ideas that enable them to preach about Mercy from the liturgical texts.
If so, here is a sample homily:
First Reading Year B: Acts 4:32-35
Something utterly amazing happened to the first Christians in the days and weeks following the first Pentecost. They were spontaneously generous with each other.
Do you remember the passage in Luke chapter 7 when Jesus tells Simon the Pharisee that the woman who had been weeping over His feet and covering them with kisses must have been forgiven much because she showed such great love? These first Christians were just doing what comes naturally after you have had a life-changing encounter with God's Mercy.
Do you remember how cut to the heart the first Christians were after St Peter told them that not only had they colluded in the death of an innocent man - they had colluded in the death of the only begotten Son of God? Many of them would have been in the crowd that Good Friday calling for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus. Some of them may have been in the group that went to arrest Jesus. Some of them may have taken part in the tortures of Jesus that took place with the permission of the Sanhedrin. They knew they had done serious wrong. They knew they owed God big time. And yet Jesus offered them a place in His Kingdom if they repented and were baptized. For what they had done, major punishment was logically expected. And Jesus offered them peace, forgiveness and an eternal share in His divine life.
These first Christians experienced the unexpected mind-blowingly generous Mercy of God. Therefore they loved much.
And Jesus still offers this today. There is a woman with four grown sons, who back when she was much younger went through four abortions. She knows with certainty that Jesus rescued her from the abyss. Each year Jesus continues to heal deeper layers of her soul. She knows she owes God big time, and her heart is full of love for Jesus her Saviour. Her life she has happily placed at His disposal, generously serving and encouraging all those Jesus brings into her life. Her life still has major challenges, but her trust in the Mercy of Jesus gets her through all of them.
If your life isn't being fueled by constant gratitude to God, then today is the day to have a good long think. How conscious are you that you owe God big time? Because we all do.
Look today at the Image of Divine Mercy. Look at the wounds in the hands, feet and heart of Jesus. They are His promise to us that if we come to Him with all of our sins, wrongdoings, and crimes, that He will forgive us and make us dance with joy. There is nothing that cannot be forgiven through the power of the wounds and blood of Jesus our merciful Saviour. Absolutely nothing that cannot be forgiven.
All we have to do is to humble ourselves, enter the door of the confessional, and in pouring out the miseries of our souls to the priest, encounter the never-to-be-forgotten Mercy of Jesus.
If there is very little joy and generosity in your life, it is a pretty safe bet that you haven't seen the inside of a confessional for quite some time. Jesus is waiting for you there. Do not be afraid. His Mercy is limitless. He wants to heal you. He wants to restore you to full friendship with Him. He wants you to experience the joy and transformation of His forgiveness.
As soon as Mass is over I will be heading straight into the confessional. I will stay there as long as you keep coming. It is not a hardship for me. Every time someone comes to meet Jesus in the confessional, in this wonderful sacrament of Divine Mercy, Jesus shares with me some of the joy He feels when someone seeks His Mercy. It is the joy a junior scrub nurse feels doing her tiny bit to help the great surgeon transform severely mangled bodies into clean healthy bodies.