KAT”LSKA KIRKJAN, Tůrshavn, FÝroyar  (Faroe Islands)

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Mercy Sunday
Lent 2017
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Godīs household

 

 

MERCY SUNDAY

 

23rd. April 2017

 

 

 

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 there.


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 Jesus.

 

 

 

Paul Marx,omi

Parish priest

 

 

 

Divine Mercy Chaplet (Rosary)