Divine Mercy Sunday 2023

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! This specially named Sunday is always the first Sunday after Easter. St. Pope John Paul II instituted the day in the year 2000. The Church’s teaching on the endless mercy of God has been present from the beginning. However, Jesus chose to reveal to St. Maria Faustina in the 1930s a special look at His ocean or font of mercy.

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. … Let no soul fear to draw near to Me. … It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.

St. Faustina, Diary, no. 699 – https://www.usccb.org/prolife/divine-mercy-sunday

It comes at no surprise then that our Gospel reading showcases Jesus’ unfailing mercy. It has been mere days since the Resurrection and Jesus has already appeared to the disciples. Just not all the disciples. Thomas, for whatever the reason, was not with the other disciples when Jesus came to them. In his shock, and likely fear and confusion, he clings to doubt.

Unless I see the mark of the nails and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.

John 20:25

Because we know the whole story, we tend scoff at Thomas’ assertion. “How can he possibly have the gall to make such a demand?” “Where is this doubt coming from, doesn’t he trust his friends?” “If I were in his place, I would have believed them.” And while yes, perhaps Thomas should have trusted more closely in his friends’ claims, I find Thomas to be exercising a very human response when we are left out of a crowd.

FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, encourages us to make strange choices. No one wants to be left out of something new, fun, or different. As human beings we were made for community, but sometimes we confuse authentic community for the cool crowd. Think back to your teenage years and consider the choices you made out of FOMO. Maybe they were benign, like wearing a certain color t-shirt or getting a specific haircut. Maybe they were a bit more drastic – drinking alcohol at too young an age, getting a piercing without your parents’ permission, sneaking out at night. While you are, hopefully, past these growing pains, FOMO still has a part to play in your psyche.

Commercials, marketing campaigns, billboards, YouTube and Instagram ads – all of these rely at a certain level on FOMO. They want you to see the next best thing, what are your friends clicking on, what’s the latest trend or fad in an area of interest for you.

It’s even in the knitting and spinning yarn world people – I know because I’m actively following a FOMO rabbit hole right now. Long story short, you can spin yarn on a spinning wheel. Cool, I have 2 (and I love them both, don’t make me choose!). You can also spin yarn on spindles, which are basically sticks with a weight at the bottom that you spin like a top and use that spinning to twist wool fiber into yarn. Slower yes, but you can make thinner yarn and it’s just another way to achieve the same result. This is not a fast craft so why not embrace the slow nature of the make.

Acorn Support Spindles” by grizzlymountainarts is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

For whatever the reason, YouTubers are popping up with spindle spinning and now, guess who wants a spindle? Yep. Guess who already has one in the mail and used sweet puppy eyes on her husband so he would also get her one for her birthday? Yep. Because of course you need more than one, they are little and there’s so much yarn to spin!

FOMO. It’s a thing. It’s not always a bad thing, but it’s a thing we have to acknowledge plays a role in our lives. Depending on the topic or situation, we might react to it differently.

I am reacting to my FOMO by acquiring 2 spindles, and being very strict with myself not to get any more (there’s a hot resale market. I know, you think I’m crazy, but that’s ok), until I know if this is a new craft I want to spend time on. I’m engaging in the established community more as I learn more about spinning and enriching my overall understanding of fiber crafts. While calling it a natural progression seems a bit too much like permission to lose self control, it is still related to interests I already have made room for in my life. However, I acknowledge this is a potential slippery slope, so I need to proceed cautiously.

Thomas took a more aggressive approach to his FOMO episode. Not wanting to be left out or undone, Thomas makes a wild assertion about what level of proof he needs in order to be convinced. We’ve seen this before in our lives – a wild bet, an outlandish or fantastical claim, making or accepting a dare – all done to impress the group and be accepted by it.

We call Thomas “Doubting Thomas” because of this series of events. He doubts, not just Jesus’ resurrection, but I believe his place in the group. Why didn’t Jesus wait for him to be back from whatever errand he was on? Why had he been left out? Was he someone less than or inferior to the others? Notice how Thomas doesn’t just need to see Jesus, but to touch Him as well. No one else had done that, surely his bravery would be rewarded in some way, if only just to be considered an equal again.

Doubts. We talk about how seeds of doubt are sown in our minds and hearts. Doubt is such a deceptive thing. It’s one of the primary weapons the Devil employs against us. Doubts come to us in little one liners, often out of no where. “If you really loved your wife, you’d let her get as many spindles as she wants” ……. sorry, couldn’t help it. But really, the phrase “If you really” usually ends with a seed of doubt planted. Consider these possible endings.

If you really….

  • wanted that job, you would have found a way to get it.
  • loved your kids, you would be at every single soccer game no matter what.
  • were beautiful, he would have asked you out.
  • were successful, she wouldn’t have left you.
  • are fun to be around, that specific group would be your friends.
  • believed in Jesus, you wouldn’t have been in that accident.

Doubt, FOMO. They go hand in hand. The Devil wishes for us to be in a state of continual doubt and FOMO. Doubt makes us question what we are doing, who we are, and what we believe. FOMO makes us constantly chase after what we perceive we are lacking, even if we aren’t lacking anything at all. This cycle of doubt and fear will lead us down a path of destruction in quick order.

Thank goodness we have a Sunday like this Sunday. This Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, shows us that there is nothing to fear, nothing to doubt. Jesus’s Divine Mercy is boundless, endless, and ever present for us. We don’t have to doubt it. We don’t have to be fearful that He will keep it from us. Jesus is waiting for us to reach out to Him. He wants nothing more than to shower us with His merciful love. I cannot say it better than Pope John Paul II:

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 a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!
Lord, who reveals the Father’s love by Your death and Resurrection, we believe in You and confidently repeat to You today: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.

St. Pope John Paul II, Regina caeli message prepared for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, 2005

Jesus not only requested a day to be set aside for us to commemorate and celebrate His Divine Mercy, He also instructed St. Faustina to pray a chaplet to divine mercy. If you have never prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet before, I highly encourage you to find some time this weekend. It is prayed on rosary beads, but takes about half the time as the rosary. Not that time should be a factor, but it’s also good to know what you’re getting yourself into. Check out the Hallow app’s guide to praying the chaplet.

Daily Graces. kktaliaferro.wordpress.com

2 thoughts on “Divine Mercy Sunday 2023

  1. Belatedly Happy Birthday Kate. Just wanted you to know that I love your videos and would like to know how I can support your efforts. Please let me know how I can make a donation. Love you, Auntie


    1. Thank you many times over! I’ll need to pray about accepting donations, I haven’t even thought about it before! In the meantime, your prayers are most welcome. And, you can always share any content with friends and family, that alone is hugely helpful 😊


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