Skip to main content

The Killing on Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday morning, May 1, we woke to the international coverage of the Vatican's beatification of John Paul II. What interested me about the event and how it added to the significance of the day was that the Vatican chose to beatify John Paul on Divine Mercy Sunday, a day which he extended to the entire Church in 2000 when he was Pope.

On this day, the Pope desired, "Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment." (Diary 300)

"On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity." (Diary 699)

The world watched as the faithful celebrated The Blessed John Paul II's beatification on the Sunday after Easter, which was set aside to extend God's mercy to all who would come to Christ through Confession and Holy Communion.

It was a slow news day that morning.

The night of the same day, we all remember what happened. US Navy Seals "killed" our nation's Public Enemy Number One, Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

The irony that struck me (I'm different, I admit.) was that the "killing" happened on Divine Mercy Sunday. [Please note: I am not criticizing the military's actions against an enemy of the state in a time of war, nor, am I suggesting mercy be shown to our government's enemies when confronted in wartime. So, don't comment about that.]

I simply want to note that on the day one billion Roman Catholic Christians were called to celebrate the mercy of God and the millions of Christians who gathered for worship to proclaim and call people to put their trust in Jesus, the Christ, who was a sacrifice so all could experience "the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment," most of the celebration was about the killing

We haven't heard about Blessed John Paul II since.

We live each day with the ironic reality that God's divine mercy is extended to all through Jesus, the Christ, while people--good and evil--are killed by other people. Makes you cry Maranatha (Come Lord!) with more sincerity than ever, doesn't it?