Today, Good Friday, marks the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena. It is very apt that this is so, because Good Friday is the day to remember Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion and death. Yet even amidst His difficulties, and even when He was on the brink of death, He showed mercy to those around Him — even to the thief who was crucified next to Him.
I must confess that showing mercy to others — even those near and dear to me — is something I am still working on. Truth to tell, I feel like this Lent has been such a “failure”, especially in terms of making sacrifices, praying more, being more generous (almsgiving), and generally growing closer to Christ (and helping our kids do the same).
It couldn’t have come at a better time, yes?
“Life” in this case for me was mostly caring for a baby who isn’t 100% OK yet, but on the way to being in the pink of health (we claim it in Jesus’ name; thank You, Lord!). It’s been difficult, but His mercy prevails. His love and compassion — especially shown through the people around us — has kept us (me especially!) going.
Just as one of my favorite writers Elizabeth Foss wrote recently:
Lent brings us to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we stop with Christ before the walk to crucifixion. Jesus’ time in the garden is the Father’s expression of empathy for us. In that moment, even before we have taken our first breaths, God sees us. He knows the sorrows we will face, and He sets aside this time before he takes on the weight of all our sins to teach us how to ask God’s mercy.
He sees us in our struggle to surrender. He sees us in our suffering. God knows how hard it is to come to our knees, at the end of our strength, at the end of our power, at the end of everything we thought we could do on our own, and to stare down a difficult situation. He knows what it is to say, “I can’t do this anymore.” In His goodness, He allowed His Son to come to that place so that we could know beyond all doubt that God is there with us.
So yes, even if Lent has come and gone this year, and we’re already smack-dab in the middle of the Easter Triduum, we must remember that it is NEVER too late to experience God’s mercy. His divine mercy is all we need in every season of life; in good times and in bad; in sickness and in health. Praise the Lord for His sacrificial love indeed!
Now, for those of you who might be looking for a place to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection this Easter Sunday, allow me to invite you to the Mercy Full Grand Easter Feast (GEF) 2016. I likely won’t be able to go this year (you know, because of the baby and all) but my husband and thousands of other people will be there!
The GEF will have two sessions: 8:00 AM – 12:00 NOON (morning session) and 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (afternoon session).
As we celebrate the Year of Mercy, may we realize that one of God’s greatest gifts to us is His forgiveness. Our Easter celebration invites us to understand the depth of God’s mercy and breathe in His love, so that we may, in turn, extend mercy and love to other people.
There will be an Easter Mass by Fr. Joel Jason and Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, life-changing talks by Bo Sanchez, Fr. Bob McCognaghey and Monching Bueno, and powerful worship by the Kerygma Worship Team.
I invite you to experience all this and more for only PHP 200.00. Buy your tickets now at www.smtickets.com or at any SM Tickets outlet nationwide.
I wish you all a blessed and beautiful Easter season ahead!