By Cindy Wooden
Pope Francis celebrates Mass marking the feast of Divine Mercy at the Church of the Holy Spirit near the Vatican in Rome April 19, 2020. The church houses a shrine dedicated to Divine Mercy. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
ROME (CNS) — As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk it will be struck by an even worse virus — that of selfish indifference, Pope Francis said.
This dangerous virus is “spread by the thought that life is better if it is better for me and that everything will be fine if it is fine for me. It begins there and ends up selecting one person over another, discarding the poor and sacrificing those left behind on the altar of progress,” he said in his homily at a Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19.
The current pandemic instead must compel people to prepare for a “collective future” that sees the whole human family as one and holds all of the earth’s gifts in common in order to be shared justly with those in need, he said.
“This is not some ideology: it is Christianity,” and it mirrors the way the early Christian community lived, the pope said at the Mass, celebrated privately at Rome’s Church of the Holy Spirit, which houses a shrine dedicated to Divine Mercy.
The Mass was celebrated on the 20th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s declaration that the Sunday after Easter would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. The Divine Mercy movement was founded in the early 1900s by Polish St. Faustina Kowalska, who said Jesus told her he wanted a feast of Divine Mercy as a refuge and shelter for all souls.
In his homily, Pope Francis noted that St. Faustina said Jesus told her, “I am love and mercy itself; there is no human misery that could measure up to my mercy.”
The Lord always patiently and faithfully waits for people to recognize their failings and sins and to offer them to him “so that he can help us experience his mercy,” the pope said.
Even the disciples, and especially St. Thomas, experienced fear and doubt, failing to believe in the risen Lord right away, the pope said.
Jesus doesn’t scold them with a sermon because “he wants us to see him not as a taskmaster with whom we have to settle accounts, but as our father who always raises us (Read More)