Homilies

The Divine Mercy is Directly Connected with the Sacrament of Reconciliation – Divine Mercy Sunday

Eureka, I Might be Wrong

Aristotle, Plato, Isaac Newton, Nicholas Telsa, and Albert Einstein each had brilliant insights that changed the world. For my part, I like to think that I could hold my own in the company of these greats. I like to think that I once had a great idea, even if it was only one. I still remember when the moment when it hit me and it hit me so hard it almost knocked me over! At a certain point as a young man I realized that despite my ambition and confidence in myself, there just might be a chance, even a remote chance, that, “I might be wrong about some things.” I might say things that aren’t true and I might say and do things that offend and hurt others. I might not have it all figured out.

We Need God’s Mercy

For anyone who has ever has ever thought that they might be wrong about something, then take heart, because today’s feast is for you. Today we honour the Divine Mercy of God. We acknowledge our shortcomings and ask the Lord with his great power to try to make up for them and heal any damage that we done. We also rely on Mercy to get us back on the track to Heaven.

In the private revelations of Jesus to St. Faustina, he says the following:

“Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to My mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy.” (1577)

Notice that everyone can make use of his mercy, from the greatest saint to the worst sinner.

Moneyball – Going All In

One of the best movies that I’ve seen in the past few years is called Moneyball. It’s a baseball movie about the general manager of the cash strapped Oakland Athletics who finds a new way of looking at statistics to build a Championship team. Following this new model, he starts making trades that shock many people. Some are angry with what he is doing and others laugh. Midway through the season, the new team isn’t any better, in fact they are worse. On radio stations fans call in insisting its time their GM get fired for all the crazy things he’s doing. Finally, it comes to one of the biggest trades he needs to make. To everyone looking in, it makes no sense at all. They don’t understand what he’s trying to do and if it doesn’t work, this will certainly lead to his dismissal. His assistant questions him and begs him to reconsider. His response is astounding. He asks him, do you believe in what we are doing, that it will work? Then what’s the problem? They go all in and because of it the Oakland Athletics set an American League Record of 20 wins in a row and change baseball.

If the GM didn’t go all in, he never would have known if his new way of looking at things would work. He took a chance. In terms of our faith, I think something similar needs to happen. Probably we can feel pretty comfortable living our faith on Sundays and going to God when we need him. But the question I raise is this: Are we all in? Do we have all our eggs in this basket. Faith is the kind of thing that in order for it to work and for you to notice a difference, you have to be totally committed.

Gospel – Mercy Directly Connected to the Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Divine Mercy of God on one level is something nice to think about. It’s easy and doesn’t require anything of us other than to receive this gift of God. But, I would caution that this is not the whole picture and that we need to go deeper. Today I would like to point out that the Divine Mercy of God is directly connected to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They go together and you can’t really have one without the other.

Some people think that they don’t need this Sacrament, that they are fine the way they are or that they can just confess their sins directly to God themselves without the Church. But, this doesn’t fit with the words of today’s Gospel where Jesus breathes on the Apostles, the first priests, and gives them the power to forgive sins:

“Peace be with you… whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Right from the beginning, both in terms of history and scripture, there is evidence that priests have been given the authority to forgive sins and to deny this one would have to cross out these words of Jesus in their Bible.

Reconciliation for your Family

In my own life the sacrament of reconciliation has been powerful. Here more than anywhere else, I’ve experience and felt the Divine Mercy of God, given to ME, for what I have done. Imagine what this sacrament could do for you and your family. Imagine if your spouse, children or parents, went to Reconciliation regularly. How it would change things if they thought once in a while about what they’ve done that is wrong and asked for forgiveness. What it could really do for them if they strived to be really holy and love you as God loves you. How amazing that would be. And maybe it can start with us!

Listen to these words of Jesus to St. Faustina:

“When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul.” 

That room at the back of the Church is one of the most important rooms in our lives, for it is there that we experience the Divine Mercy of God.

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