Sunday, April 23, 2006

"The Mystery of Loving Mercy"

For those keeping score, Benedict XVI did deliver a Regina Caeli message this morning that was rich in Divine Mercy.

Here's the Whispers translation of the Pope's talk given, per usual, from The Window:
Dear brothers and sisters!

This Sunday, the Gospel of John tells us that the risen Jesus appeared to the disciples, locked in the Cenacle, on the evening of "the first day after the sabbath" (Jn 20:19), and that he showed himself to them again "eight days later" (Jn 20:26). Going forward, therefore, the Christian community began to live a weekly rhythm articulated by the encounter with the Risen Lord. This is what was also underlined by the Constitution of the Second Vatican Council on the liturgy, affirming that: "According to the apostolic tradition, which takes its origins from the same day of the Resurrection of Christ, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every eighth day, on that which is justly called the Lord's day or Sunday" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 106).

The Evangelist also records that in both apparitions the Lord Jesus showed to the disciples the signs of the crucifixion, quite visible and tangible even on his glorious body (cf. Jn: 20:20-27). These sacred scources, on his hands, his feet and in his side, are the inexorable surges of faith, of hope and of love of him that all may receive, especially those souls most thirsty for divine mercy. In consideration of this, the servant of God John Paul II, valuing the spiritual experience of a humble Sister, Saint Faustina Kowalska, wished that the Sunday after Easter be dedicated in a special way to the Divine Mercy; and Providence disposed that he would die on the vigil of this day. The mystery of the loving mercy of God was at the center of the pontificate of this, my venerable predecessor. We remember, in particular, the Encyclical Dives in misericordia (Rich in mercy), of 1980, and the dedication of the new Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy at Krakow, in 2002. The words which he pronounced on the latter occasion were like a synthesis of his magisterium, evidencing that the cult of the divine mercy is not a secondary devotion, but an integral dimension of the faith and the prayer of the Christian.

May Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church, to whom we now turn with the Regina Caeli, help all Christians to live Sunday in fullness as the "weekly Easter," tasting the beauty of the encounter with the risen Lord and coming to the font of his loving mercy, to be apostles of his peace.

Regina Caeli, laetare, alleluia....
In greeting the French-speaking pilgrims, the Pope did use the term "Mercy Sunday." He also prayed for the victims of the recent flooding in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.

PHOTO: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi