TO BE OF USE IN TODAY’S TROUBLED WORLD
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
“+Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. +Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness.” – Diary Divine Mercy in my Soul, n. 147.
Happy Easter! Thanks for your participation in the just concluded Divine Mercy Novena. God of mercy and kindness has heard all our entreaties and cries for the recovery of our world that is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through His mercy, He has heard the appeal made for our departed souls who have passed on due to the weight of coronavirus. By His mercy, God has heard and He is in touch with all medical personnel that are caring for COVID-19 victims, that they may be protected and empowered with the courage and zeal to do more. God of mercy and compassion has heard our supplications for the wellness of those of us who are still living actively without the anguish of the coronavirus. Sincerely, my heart and prayers are with all of you and please pray for me. Your unique participation during the novena exercise is a sign of how you have willingly become useful to our troubled world. May Jesus bless you and the Blessed Mother protect you.
Dear friends in Christ, today we live in a troubled world and as such, many, if not all of us are experiencing brokenness at all spheres of life (physical, psychological/mental, emotional, social and spiritual). Before now, the world had experienced worst pandemics and epidemics that have altered her history. There was a time around the 16th Century that yellow fever almost ravaged some part of the world; then we had Flu pandemic, polio epidemic, AIDS pandemic and epidemic to the present day. Then the outbreak of Ebola epidemic, Zika virus to present day and now COVID-19 pandemic. The world is still standing today because “His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 118:2). So, “Give praise to the Lord, for He is good” (Ps. 118:1).
Reading the signs of former times and today, reveal that the ten plagues of Egypt were permanent practical evidence that God permitted on the Egyptian ruler in order to mount pressure on him to allow the Israelites to move from imposed identity of slavery to their original identity of children and worshippers of the Most High God (Exodus Chapters 7-11). In the same vein, COVID-19 is a gift and blessing to awaken our consciousness to divine realities like DIVINE MERCY. The Lord wants to hear repeatedly the Christian words of a repentant heart and soul “Lord, have mercy.”
It is as if we are experiencing afresh some biblical agonizing experiences like the fall of Adam and Eve, the fall of the Tower of Babel, the collapse of the tower of Siloam (Luke 13:4) and so on. In our contemporary times we can talk of the traumatic experiences of the Nigerian Civil War (6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970) and at the international scene we had the Nazi concentration camps of 1945 and the 9/11 attacks in New York 2001. The world is still standing today because “His mercy endures forever” (Ps. 118:2). So, “Give praise to the Lord, for He is good” (Ps. 118:1).
As a response to our current pandemic challenge, our homes have become domestic monasteries for continuous prayers and sacrifices. God be praised for His goodness and faithfulness. Divine Mercy Sunday offers us the opportunity to reflect on what brought Jesus Christ to the world – Love (John 3:16). Love is not a theoretical concept, but practical and dynamic. We find the testimony of Mother Louise Margaret very apt as she says that everything about God is propelled by a movement of love. Thus, “God is love (1John 4:8)… But this ineffable love, according as He exercises it, takes different names: when love commands, it is power; when it favours, it is goodness; when it punishes, it is justice; when it pardons, it is mercy.”
The message of Jesus Christ for today’s Divine Mercy Sunday in our broken world is simple. He says you and I should be of use in today’s troubled world. This is a call to live out the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as we become ambassadors of Mercy. Our job specificities are as follows: Pray for mercy, suffer with others (be in solidarity with others as you share with us in our lack of material and emotional needs), be open to God and humanity and receive mercy (by confession, apologizing for our wrongs, be thankful and ask for what you need), forgive (yourself, others and “God”), counsel (the erring, those in doubt and the ignorant) and teach (become a teacher of mercy – teach the goodness of the Lord, promote the miraculous deeds of God).
Please pray the Divine Mercy prayer for the Church and the world. Thank you very much! Jesus. I trust in you!