Mercy of God – Divine Mercy Sunday – Homily by Fr Charles Eneh
Divine mercy points towards the mercy of the Lord. The passion, resurrection and death are acts of mercy. God sent Jesus out of mercy to assume the form of man, to suffer, to die, and then to resurrect. When Jesus resurrected, He breathed upon the apostles and said the sins that they forgive are forgiven and those that they retain are retained. Due to mercy, our sins are forgiven through the act of confession.
In order to make a good confession, there is an attitude that every penitent must exhibit.
1. Awareness of recognition. You get to the point where you are broken and it moves you to confession. Like 15:17-18. The prodigal son got to the point that he was truly broken and decided to return to the father. “How many of my father’s servants live better than myself? I must arise and return to my father”.
2. Pouring it out – the prodigal son poured it out totally. “I have sinned against heaven and earth and do not deserve to be called your son. Treat me like one of your hired servants”. Coming to confession to lie is adding sin upon sin. You must make a total confession. A humble and contrite heart oh Lord, you will not spurn.
The act of contrition says… “And by the help of your grace, I will not sin again”. God is ready to give this grace not to sin anymore. He is quick to forgive us of our sins. For example, when Christ forgave the woman in John 8:11, he said, “Go now and sin no more.”. At the healing of the man at the pool, in John 5:14, Christ said, “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you”.
There are two things you gain from confession
1. Mercy – Your sins are forgiven
2. Grace – Hebrews 4:16. “Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace that we may find mercy and grace in time of need”. Even when you confess, what Caused you to sin is still waiting for you. You need the grace to overcome.
In Genesis Chapter 3, God commanded Adam and Eve to eat everything except the tree in the middle of the garden. They ate from the tree and they were driven out of the garden. This shows that every sin has got punishment before restitution. There is mercy that removes the sin and grace takes over. Isaiah 1 16-18 says, “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil”.
David committed a sin and he was forgiven. God gave him mercy and supplied him with grace and so no one could do him harm. There are those who have lost their anointings such as Cain and Samson but God forgave them and filled them with grace.
Another example is St Paul who in 1 Corinthians 15 9-10 said he persecuted the church of God and so does not deserve to be called an apostle but by the grace of God, he has worked harder than the others. This was by the grace of God. Grace provokes righteousness in you.
Padre Pio always referred to himself as the worst sinner. This is because the smallest sin was great to him. May we all live like him, to see that even the smallest sin that we commit is big enough to rob us of eternal happiness. May the grace of God locate us and make us better through Christ our Lord Amen.