CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Jesus Christ is mercy

Notre Dame parish in Ma Tau Wei, Kowloon, held a whole day celebration of Mercy Sunday on April 3.

The day began with a Mass in Chinese at 8.00am celebrated by Father Joseph So Chi-chu and the exposition of the blessed sacrament at noon, followed by the recitation of the Chaplet of Mercy, also in Chinese. The sacrament of reconciliation was available throughout the day.

The English-speaking group at the parish took over at 3.00pm with the chanting of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the intercessory prayer offerings placed in boxes.

Benediction was then celebrated by the parish priest, Father Ronnie Yap Gicalao. The day concluded with a 4.00pm Mass celebrated by Father Irek Dampc and Father David Ullrich.

Father Dampc mentioned that many miracles are not written in the bible, but we see them because of our faith.

He gave a background history of the Divine Mercy from the time of St. Faustina Kowalska up to the time that Pope John Paul II officially designated Mercy Sunday to be celebrated on the second Sunday following Easter Sunday in year 2000.

“This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity,” he said.

Father Dampc added that in his encyclical on Divine Mercy, Pope John Paul pointed out that mercy in the books of the Old Testament uses two terms—Hesed and Rahimin. Hesed signifies a concern for another human being, or deep, as in deep goodness, while Rahimin is God’s law for his people, which is like the love of a mother to her child.

These two ways of living and acting make up the foundation of Divine Mercy as offered in Jesus Christ. 

Father Dampc also mentioned that Jesus came to accomplish the mercy of his father, which is the main message of the New Testament. “Everything in Jesus speaks of mercy. Indeed he himself is mercy.”

Referring to the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, who squandered his father’s wealth, Father Dampc said that each of us is the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, but God respects our freedom and when we come back to him, he welcomes us back in his house.

He reminded people that God is always looking for us and he finds us first.

He said, “Confession is a place of mercy, not fear, not shame.” He elaborated further saying that confession is the time when we meet our father who is always merciful. God is touching us to invite us. The significance of the cross is the most eloquent sign of God’s mercy. Through the cross we can be touched by God’s mercy.”

He concluded his homily with the specific message of Divine Mercy. Ask for mercy, Beg for his mercy, Completely trust in Jesus.

Father Dampc then walked around the church to bless objects of devotion. A procession followed and concluded with an individual blessing with a relic of St. Faustina. SE