How fitting that on the second Sunday of Easter, which Blessed John Paul II entitled Divine Mercy Sunday, the very eve of which his earthly life ended, new life will be breathed into the Church as our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, beatifies his predecessor. As a family united in Christ, all of us who have a part in The Great Adventure Bible studies around the world have been praying a nine week novena for the New Evangelization asking for the intercession of Blessed John Paul II. This Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, will begin the final week of our novena as we pray to Blessed John Paul II for all souls. Please join us in our prayer - Novena for the New Evangelization.
The Gospel of our Lord is a call to conversion that is without end. It is a call we live throughout our entire life, a continuous turning back to the Lord, a constant changing of heart, an incessant coming back to His Gospel. For me, Blessed John Paul II’s words “new springtime” have deep meaning; for, I have found myself in many ways entering into this “new springtime” on a very personal level. What he said about the course of the Church resonated with me and caused me to examine the course of my life, and I recognized that conversion would have to begin with my willingness to turn to Him and my ability to accept His Divine Mercy.
It was just 7 years ago that I found myself asking Jesus to bring me closer to Him, and His response was to bring me to Him through His word by introducing me to Bible study. Through The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation, I suddenly discovered a relationship with Christ that brought me to my own conversion, and I learned that conversion is not a one-time thing, but a lifelong process. Again those words, “new springtime”, made me stop and think of the changes needed in my life. Since that time, it has been Blessed John Paul II’s words and writings that have continued to nurture me and allow me to experience a blossoming of my faith in this new springtime. Blessed John Paul II opened wide my eyes to the fact that God’s Divine Mercy wasn’t just the answer to the world’s problems, he made me see that God’s Divine Mercy was the answer to my problems. I may be small in the eyes of the world, but to Him I am everything. “Why, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)
From his deathbed came the last written words of Blessed John Paul II that he had prepared to be read on Divine Mercy Sunday, the day after his passing. They were read, as follows, directly on Divine Mercy Sunday:
“As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy! Lord, who reveal the Father’s love by Your Death and Resurrection, we believe in You and confidently repeat to You… Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world. Amen.”
May we find the passion of Blessed John Paul II to make known to the world the consoling and enthusiastic greatness of God’s mercy.
Blessings in the Risen Lord,
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Category: Hearts Afire