When Adam and Eve gave in to Satanís enticement, they
incurred the horrible consequence of eternal death without any chance of ever
again being able to be with God forever in heaven, the goal of life on earth.
However, God in His loving mercy would not accept this utterly damning reality.
He said right away to the serpent, Satan, that the womanís seed would crush his
head while it would bite its heel. To crush Satanís head. What happens to
someone, when its head is crushed? It is totally dead. Thatís what God said to
Satan. Yet, Satan would bite the heel of the womanís seed.
Satan through the sinfulness of man brought about the
horrible execution of Godís chosen Saviour of mankind. The Christ was crucified
as a blasphemer of God and a traitor to the Roman State. Satan managed to kill
Godís anointed one. However, Satan had not the least inkling, that it was
playing right into Godís plan. Satan didnít realize that the bleeding and dying
man nailed to the cross was in reality the true paschal lamb, whose death
totally satisfied Godís justice and whose poured-out blood, smeared on the
doorposts and lintels of the soul of man, saved him from eternal death through
the forgiveness of sins.
From the pierced heart of the dead Christ, water and
blood poured out Ė the water of eternal life and the blood of mercy. Now that
the price of manís sin against God was fully paid, the floodgates of Godís mercy
were opened and mercy gushed forth in super abundance over mankind. By raising
Christ from the dead, God crushed death itself. No longer was there any power
left in the hands of hell to destroy mankind. Death was the last power of Satan.
Satanís head was now totally crushed. Satan is dead. However, the total death of
Satan and the powers of hell as well as the saving suffering and death of Jesus
Christ are outside of time, but these have taken placed in time and are taking
place in time. Therefore, the slaughter of the paschal lamb, the shedding of its
blood is always present until the end of time. Satan biting the heel of Christ,
His holy and living Body, the Church, is also always present until the end of
time. Persecution of the Church is Satan biting Christís heel, as John tells us
in his book of Revelations chap.12. Yet, the victory is won, Satanís head is
crushed. Therefore, Christís disciples war against the powers of hell with hope.
Yet Godís mercy is not automatic. No, itís very
demanding. The first words of Jesus, when he began his public ministry were: The
Kingdom of God is near, repent of your sins and put your faith in the Good News,
in me. God respects each individual human beingís freedom to choose. From the
cross of Jesus Christ, from His open side flow life and mercy. We swim in it. We
are immersed in it. Yet, it must always be received. This means, one must
acknowledge that one has sinned and thus is in absolute need of forgiveness.
This acknowledgement opens the door of the heart and mercy floods into the soul
cleansing it of sin and filling it with Godís love and goodness and truth and
beauty and life. Unfortunately, todayís culture doesnít acknowledge sin.
Therefore, people think that they have no need of forgiveness because they think
that thereís nothing to forgive. This is a most wretched and dangerous state for
society to be in. Without acknowledging and repenting sin, people have closed
their hearts to God and His mercy, closed their hearts to real life and to ever
reaching the true goal of life Ė heaven, eternal happiness with God. Dying in
this state of rejection of God sends the person to eternal death, to hell where
there is absolutely no possibility of a second chance. Hell is total
hopelessness, total torture. Itís the realization of the total loss of
everything that tortures the soul for all eternity. It could have been
otherwise, if only one had chosen differently when the chance was
God in His mercy has throughout the Christian age
sent His prophets including His holy Mother, Mary, (Here we think of Lourdes,
Lasalette, Fatima) to call people to listen with open ears to His holy Word that
the Church, the holy and living Body of Jesus Christ on earth, has always
proclaimed through her Scriptures and Tradition in her authentic teaching
office, to open hearts to His beloved Son, to repent of their sins and thus be
filled with His mercy. Within the last century He has sent a polish nun, St.
Faustina from Crocow. Through her He calls all to honour Him as the Lord of
Mercy, to put all trust in Him, to repent of sin and be filled with Godís
holiness. Christ requested through her, that the Church proclaim the second
Sunday of Easter as Mercy Sunday and that the image of His mercy be blessed and
honoured. The image shows the sacred wounds in His hands and feet and from whose
open side flow the water of life and the blood of forgiving mercy. To help us
open our hearts and the hearts of others to Godís mercy, Jesus gave us the Mercy chaplet or rosary. The chaplet
consists of repetitive prayers of mercy using the rosary. The exact prayers are
found on this little card, which is found in many languages on the shelf to the
left as you go to the parish hall. I encourage you to take one and pray the
chaplet on your rosary.
We ask God today and every day with all our hearts to
give us open ears so that we can hear and open the door to our heart in
repentance of sin. God is yearning with all His heart to fill each one of us
with His mercy. He loves each one so intensely that He will go to extremes to
win our hearts. He became man in order to sacrifice his life through a horrible
death on a Roman cross to pay the price of sin. We experience this unimaginably
great love and mercy of God at every Mass. The Mass is the sacrifice of Jesus to
the Father that forgives sins. The Mass is the most important act of mercy
possible. The Mass is offered by God, to God and for God.
Mercy is only possible by receiving it through the
repentance of personal sin. The prodigal son in the parable said to his father:
I have sinned against heaven and against you. Without repentance of sin, Godís
forgiving and life-saving mercy is helpless. Let none of us allow Christís
saving suffering and death to be in vain. We disparately need