Jesus came to save sinners. The name JESUS means SAVIOR. The primary purpose of the Incarnation and Paschal Mystery—the Passion, suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, the Lord, was to save us from eternal perdition and to bring us to heaven. By the completion of Jesus’ Paschal mystery—Passion, suffering, death on the cross, and Resurrection from the dead three days later, the gates of heaven flew open, and all of us have access to union with the Blessed Trinity forever. All of us can be saved if this is the most ardent desire and yearning of our hearts.
THE UNIQUE AND UNCONDITIONAL REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION. True and as easy as this may sound, salvation depends principally on one condition, the primary, indispensable, and immutable disposition of our heart—and that is trusting fully and totally in the MERCY that Jesus offers us in every time, every place, every culture, and to every individual person.EXAMPLE. If you like, imagine this scene. A rich man has a fruit orchard in which there are luscious fruits of all kinds, sizes, and shapes. This rich man happens to be your friend. One day he says to you: “Listen, at any time of the day you are free to go into the orchard and take and eat any of the fruit your heart desires. The only condition is that you have to provide your own means of transportation to arrive at the orchard. Then pick and eat to your heart’s delight!” God has a GARDEN and that is the Sacred Heart of His Son Jesus. He invites all to visit that Sacred Heart and eat and drink from it in abundance. The food and drink from Jesus’ Heart is His MERCY!!!
CONFESSION AND MERCY. Reading and reflecting upon this message, the next question that might surface in your mind is the following: Well, if that is the case, how can I reach this orchard where can I attain this precious and free fruit? The response is amazingly simple: THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION!!! Jesus is waiting for all of us, present in the ordained priest, in the confessional. When we receive the Sacrament of Confession and receive absolution—that means, the forgiveness of our sins—then it is not so much the priest who is forgiving our sins—but rather, it is Jesus who truly forgives. The priest is the mere instrument and Jesus, the Son of the living God, is the one who forgives.
GIFT OF GOD’S INFINITE MERCY AND THE PROMISE OF MERCY SUNDAY. Now is the time, in a very special way, that we want to take advantage of the Infinite Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sunday following Easter is MERCY SUNDAY. Saint Pope John Paul II admitted that Mercy Sunday 2000 was the happiest day in his life for two specific reasons: 1) The first reason was that the saintly pontiff proclaimed that day to be solemnly celebrated as MERCY SUNDAY— actually the crowning moment of Easter, the Easter Octave. 2) This same day Saint Pope John Paul II canonized SAINT FAUSTINA KOWALSKA—known as the Secretary of Divine Mercy. With these two pontifical actions, Saint Pope John Paul II was filled with immense and overflowing joy. Incidentally, Saint Faustina was the first saint to be canonized in the new millennium.
CONTENT OF THE PROMISE OF DIVINE MERCY. By making a well-prepared and sincere Confession in the Season of Lent, and then participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday and of course the most important element in the Mass, receiving fervently Holy Communion, then the great gift or promise is received! This means that after having received Holy Communion—the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, the Merciful Savior—your soul becomes absolutely pure, white as the snow, innocent as a dove, bright and resplendent as the midday sun, precious as the most valuable of all diamonds. Another means of expressing this: it is as if you were baptized a second time. By the way, the Sacrament of Baptism, even for adults, washes away all of your sins and the temporal punishment due them. This also means that if you were to die in the moment you would not have to spend an instant in Purgatory, but you would fly like an eagle to Heaven to be with the Blessed Trinity, Mary, the angels and the saints for all eternity.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MOMENT. This being the case, why not take advantage of the Infinite Mercy that Jesus, through His Mystical Body the Church, is offering you right now. Remember the rich man and the orchard analogy! God is the rich man who is infinitely rich; the orchard and the abundant fruits symbolize His Mercy, which is the greatest of all of His attributes. It is up to you to make the effort to make it to confession, and confess honestly and sincerely your sins to the priest who represents Jesus. This results in forgiveness. Then on Mercy Sunday, with fervent reception of Holy Communion, total forgiveness of your sins and the temporal punishment due for your sins!
PRAISE GOD’S MERCY. With the Psalmist let us praise with all of our hearts, minds, and souls, God and His Infinite Mercy: GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER.
Father Ed Broom, OMV, is Associate Pastor of St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, California. He is a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and was ordained by Saint John Paul II on May 25, 1986. Fr. Ed teaches Catholic Ignatian Marian Spirituality through articles, podcasts, a radio show, retreats and spiritual direction.