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Divine Mercy and The Apostles

We are continuing our study of The Apostles by Pope Benedict. This has been an interesting exercise. I expected to be fascinated by Peter and Paul. However, the one Apostle I cannot get out of my head is Matthias. I wrote about him a month ago when we first covered his chapter in the book. However, he is brought back to mind as we offer the Divine Mercy Novena this week. Just as Matthias was called to make atonement for the transgression of Judas, we are called to offer prayer and sacrifices for the sins of others. It is not enough to just atone for our own sins. We must seek to bring Christ’s Mercy to the souls of all sinners.

Perhaps this is the most significant lesson to be learned from the Apostles. They are so much more than a collection of individuals with individual conversion stories. They formed the Church. It is a unique communal body that cannot be separated into independent individuals. It is the Mystical Body of Christ. It is wounded by the vice of sinners and healed by the virtue of saints.

Now there is enough of the Prodigal Son’s older brother in me to feel a “That’s not fair!” welling up. It is very tempting to say folks have free will and if some want to ignore the Law of God and rot in Hell, then so be it. I think that is why the Divine Mercy devotion is so valuable. It takes us out of the self-righteous judgmental mode and puts us in the merciful mode. We have a Christian responsibility for the souls of our neighbors. So we pray for all sinners (ourselves included). We pray for those who have separated themselves from Christ’s Church. We pray for those who have become lukewarm in their faith.

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


Anonymous said…
I always learn so much about our Catholic faith from reading this blog site. This particular post on Divine Mercy Sunday was no exception. It goes without saying that I hope and pray that you continue to write!

Incidentally, I hope that next year I will be able to remember to start the Divine Mercy Novena on Good Friday. For some reason (and much to my shame) I always seem to forget to start the novena on time.

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