FEAST OF DIVINE MERCY: Follow the example of John and the Blessed Virgin Mary in being bearers of God’s mercy, says Archbishop Costelloe
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe closes the Holy Door at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sunday 13 November 2016, following the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Photo: Ron Tan
By Josh Low
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB reflected on Saint Faustina’s encounter with Jesus and emphasised the need for members of the Church to continually put faith into action, in his homily for Divine Mercy Sunday on 23 April.
Speaking of his experiences at World Youth Day in Poland last year, the Archbishop discussed how the Divine Mercy devotion and its foundations in the life and experience of St Faustina, have ‘captured the heart of a nation’.
Archbishop Costelloe with pilgrims during last year’s World Youth Day festivities in Poland. Photo: CYM Perth
The Archbishop described the image of Divine Mercy, based on a spiritual experience of St Faustina, in which Jesus is represented touching his breast, from which rays of white and red light flow.
“The rays symbolise the water and blood which flowed from the side of Christ as his body was pierced by the soldier’s lance.
“We are invited by those rays to return to Calvary, where Mary and John stand at the foot of the cross, faithful to Jesus to the end, even in the face of the abandonment of Jesus by all the other disciples,” he said.
“Mary and John together at the foot of the cross, given to each other by Jesus as mother and son, represent the Church which is always called to be a community of deep faith and courageous discipleship, ready to give their own bodies and blood, their own lives, as a gift for the life of the world.”
Archbishop Costelloe emphasised the importance of following the example of both John the disciple and the Blessed Virgin Mary, putting faith into action and being ready to make our lives gifts for others as well.
“Our Lord told St Faustina that the Image of Divine Mercy should be a reminder of the demands of his mercy, because, He said ‘even the strongest faith is of no avail without works’
“Appearing to His disciples after His resurrection, Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me so am I sending you’,” he said.
The Archbishop explained that in speaking to the disciples as the founding fathers of the Church, Jesus was speaking through them to all of us who are members of his Church today.
“As we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy, and remember the overwhelming mercy of God which makes us cry out in prayer, ‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world’, let us remember that it will also be through us that the Lord wishes to grant this prayer.
“We need to ask for mercy and also commit ourselves to being apostles of mercy, bearers of mercy and living examples of mercy to others,” the Archbishop said.