Divine Mercy Sunday
I spent much of the afternoon sitting in the church car park, basking in the warm April sunshine. Given the popularity of the Divine Mercy indulgence, I placed a prie-dieu beside me and heard confessions from those who were attending the Divine Mercy devotions in our small hall. Meanwhile, the monthly Nigerian Mass was being celebrated in the church: the combination of their loud drums in the church and the Divine Mercy hymns in the hall served to cover from preying ears the sins that were being confessed. This pious competition, to see who could sing the loudest, was quite impressive and a vivid expression of the universality of the Church in this part of London.
I must confess to being rather under-read when it comes to St Faustina and the Divine Mercy - after all, the Church offers so many laudable devotions and private revelations. The essential message of today, however, is clear, stressing the infinite depths of God’s mercy, no matter how serious our sins may be.
Today's Gospel reminded us that Confession is an Easter Sacrament; it was the first gift to the Church from the Risen Lord. All the Sacraments continue the Incarnation – and through Confession, we have a share in the Paschal Mystery by dying to sin and rising to the life of sanctifying grace. Our Lord knows us too well. He knows that we blunder along in life and often take the wrong turning. That’s why He gave us the promise of His peace and forgiveness. That's why we are never closer to Jesus than when we sincerely repent of our sins.