An act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.
This weekend we recognize 'Divine Mercy Sunday,' a feast day celebrated the first Sunday after Easter. It is a day dedicated to and in recognition of Jesus' tremendous, merciful love for humanity. It is a perfect way to continue to celebrate with gratitude and to move into the season of Easter.
Our family had the privilege of celebrating our goddaughter's first reconciliation this weekend and we talked about the sweetness of receiving great mercy. Probably mercy we cannot begin to understand-- Tough to wrap our minds around, but well worth the time spent trying.
Mercy-talk has felt like a much more common occurrence since the year of mercy that Pope Francis instituted last year. Although the year has technically concluded, it feels like it lingers on--in a good way. The fact that our Liturgical calendar moves from Easter Sunday to this feast of mercy is both providential and balm to my soul after a rocky Easter celebration this year. In a particular way, I have been on the lookout for mercy--gentle handling of this hurting heart.
And, in the same way that when you look for red jeeps (or any other random subconscious item you can imagine), you begin noticing them everywhere; We have had a similar experience with seeing, mercies. Different, perhaps, than the focus of the feast today--but maybe not? We have had our own experience of divine mercies by way of the many blessed acts of ‘kindness, compassion and favor’ that have been bestowed on us by way of those holding us up recently: Hand-delivered notes in our mailbox, flowers on our table, a pin wheel for our garden, prayers throughout the Triduum, texts checking on our family, Masses offered, a prayer bracelet--the gift of walking into a roomful of folks and being sought out by those we love without having to offer words of explanation for our heartache.
For a lot of reasons I will remember this celebration of Divine Mercy. Certainly I will remember it because I have been hanging onto the hopeful words and holy days of my faith. Though, more than that, our 'village' put skin on the word "mercy" in the midst of a difficult time. This is to say, that their loving us through this continues to honor the life we’d hoped to welcome. What could be more heaven-sent or merciful than that?