Homily — Divine Mercy Sunday MMVII April 15, 2007
Itâ€™s appropriate that we are starting our Catholic Charity Fund appeal on Divine Mercy Sunday, because todayâ€™s Feast Day teaches us that while being charitable and merciful will cost us something, being charitable and merciful will reward us much more in return.
Being charitable and merciful cost Our Lord Jesus throughout His life, and in some ways the five wounds Jesus bore on the Cross on Good Friday were a summary of His life long sacrificial giving, a visible way of saying “He gave till it hurt.”
Jesus gladly “gave till it hurt” because he saw the many around Him who were more needy than He was.
And today, 8 days after Easter Sunday, we see those same five sacrificial wounds that hurt when Jesus gave of Himself on Good Friday — but now they cause Jesus no pain at all.
In fact, just the opposite: those wounds now give Jesus the greatest feelings of pleasure to Him and to those around Him. Rays of light shine forth from those glorified wounds.
The Divine Mercy Jesus exercised caused Him initial discomfort on Good Friday, but from Easter Sunday onward they only caused Him eternal joy and happiness.
And my brothers and sisters in Christ, it can be the same with us. The Divine Mercy we show to the poor and needy in our midst will also cause us some discomfort.
Being merciful might not get us nailed in the hands, but it sure might get us a little nailed in the wallet, or maybe nailed down to spend a few hours of our free time doing some work of mercy to help the needy.
But those merciful sacrifices we make will eventually cause us the most joy, because the more charitable and merciful we are in this life, the more we will shine like Jesus in the next life and even starting in this life.
And we have a great opportunity upon us to exercise Divine Mercy through this yearâ€™s Catholic Charity Drive. As you might know, Bishop Tobin is asking all of us to try to increase our gifts this year, heâ€™s also hoping that those who havenâ€™t given to the Charity Drive in the past 5 or 10 years will consider giving again to this worthy cause which helps so many people of all ages and classes and faiths in our Diocese.
Heâ€™s asking this, partly because our Diocese is actually below the national average in giving to Catholic Charities. And you know, there are a lot of doubting Thomasâ€™ in our Diocese who wonâ€™t believe unless they see the wounds — they wonâ€™t believe unless they see Catholics living a life a sacrifice.
May this great feast of Divine Mercy Sunday inspire us to more fully imitate the sacrificial Mercy of Jesus. May we like Christ “give till it hurts”, so that afterwards those wounds Mercy has worked in us may be transformed and eternally glorified in us by the power of Christâ€™s Resurrection.