Divine Mercy: “God never tires to open the door of his heart”
JERUSALEM On the occasion of Sunday of Divine Mercy on 12 April 2015, a High Mass was celebrated at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem by Mgr William Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem. An occasion for the Bishop to prepare the local faithful to the Extraordinary Mercy Jubilee proclaimed by Pope Francis.
Faithful and religious rushed in despite the bad weather to take part in this ceremony which will end up the Easter Octave since 30 April 2000, Canonization Day of St Faustina, date on which “Sunday of Divine Mercy” was instituted by the Church by Pope John Paul II.
Mass was preceded by an Hour of Adoration of the Holy Sacrament, a time of prayer and meditation during which the Divine Mercy rosary was recited.
An occasion for the faithful to prepare for the Mercy Holy Year, as proclaimed by Pope Francis, which will start on 8 December 2015, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, through the opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St Peter, ending on 20 November 2016, Christ the King feast day.
During his homily Mgr Shomali came back on the announcement of the Extraordinary Jubilee of the Mercy and on the Bull of Indiction: “Misericordiae Vultus”, published by Pope Francis the day before, for the first vespers of the feast day. “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian Faith (…). We constantly need to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy is the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us”.
Mgr Shomali, in the footsteps of Pope Francis and St Thomas of Aquina, reminded how “God’s mercy, rather than a sign of weakness, is the mark of his omnipotence. Referring to the priests, confessors, who are “penitents in search of his mercy”, the Pope stressed: “Do not let us forget that to be confessor means to participate in the very mission of Jesus and to be a concrete sign of the constancy of divine love that pardons and saves”. Mgr Shomali also reminded the faithful “Missionaries of Charity’ that the Pope will send throughout the world during this Holy Year: “priests – says Pope Francis in his bull – to whom I granted the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer. They will be above all living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon”.
The Auxiliary Bishop finally concluded, together with the Pope: “Let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart and repeats that he loves us and wants to share his love with us. The Church feels the urgent need to proclaim God’s mercy.
Mass was animated by Magnificat Choir and concelebrated by several priests. Reading and singing, at the image of the congregation and the People of God, ran in different languages. At the end of the celebration, a relic of St Faustina was presented for veneration to worshippers.