I want to share a beautiful homily given on Sunday, March 29, 2020, just two days ago, by Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy. Fr. Alar speaks to us of the power of the Divine Mercy Image, and urges us to place the image on our front door and in our homes, with great reverence and trust. He urges us to pray the Chaplet, and to take this time of quarantine to draw close to God. I have included a link to the video of the Mass on Sunday as well.
Holy Mass from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, Stockbridge, MA
Well, Good Morning!
I often travel around the country and, oftentimes, I speak with young, grade-school children or youth; and I always like to ask them, “What is the shortest verse in all of scripture?” And, Father Anthony just read it: “Jesus wept.” It is the shortest verse in all of scripture.
Now I think it applies to what we’re going through here in the world right now today. I hear from time to time – if you go onto the Internet – that God wants this, that God is slamming mankind for sins. And in some ways, yes, sin obviously has consequences, and we reap what we sow. There is no question about that. But in God’s Ordained Will, He doesn’t want sickness and death. Did He want Lazarus to die? Well, if He did, He wouldn’t have wept.
So, you see, this is a consequence. He does not, in His Ordained Will, want the coronavirus or any deaths from it; but, in His Permissive Will, He allows it. Why? Because, again, we were given Free Will. But Death is not the final word. The Resurrection is. So, we see what He did with Lazarus. Was Death the final word? No! Death wasn’t the final word. What did Jesus do? He came and He resurrected Lazarus. That is Life. That is what has the final word.
You know, we often, in religious life, refer to the term, “Are you a Martha? Or are you a Mary?” And what we mean by that is, are you the kind that spends more time out and about in your ministry, or in silence of prayer in the chapel? Now, from time to time, I’ve been accused of being a little bit more of a Martha than a Mary. And, I understand that; it’s very true in some sense. But we must find our Mary time.
Now, why do I bring this up? Because earlier in a different passage we heard Jesus say Mary has found the better half. “Martha don’t worry, Mary is doing something beautiful.” Contemplative. Quiet. In prayer. But I call this passage, The Vindication of Martha. Because, what is Martha doing? She ran out to meet Jesus. When it said, Mary sat at home.
Well, here’s the point. If you’ve been like me, and been a Martha, for too long maybe – and I mean, that’s not a bad thing – maybe now is our time to be a Mary. God wants to bring a greater good out of even these worse tragedies, like the coronavirus. But God’s giving us an opportunity to be a little bit more like Mary, to stay at home.
Now, does that mean we want to be confined? Of course, not. But make the most of it. Time with your family. Time with God. Time in prayer. Self-reflection. These are all things we never have time to do. And now, God’s giving us that opportunity. With sports being canceled right now – I’m guilty. I’d probably be trying to watch a little bit of the NCAA tournament. I try every year to watch a little bit of it. Not this year. Let’s use this time in prayer. Restaurants are closed. Events are closed. So, this is your time.
Now, in why we’re home, we’ve been sending out this video. You may have received it. If you haven’t, you can find it on our webpage at https://www.thedivinemercy.org/. Just scroll down on the left under “Articles.” And it’s called, “Seal The Doorposts!” And I want to finish with a couple words about this, because it applies again to being home. Just like we talked about Mary, and just what you are experiencing right now.
I bring this up because this video has given – it’s a short 4-minute video – and it is giving instruction that you, as the laity, by the Catechism have the ability to bless certain items. And the image of Divine Mercy is one item you can actually bless by making the sign of the cross over the image, and saying, “Lord God, I seek your blessing upon this image. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” And place that image on your doorpost; on your outside door – or inside, if you cannot do it outside.
This is very important, we believe, because in Exodus 12, remember the Angel of Death that passed from the door, house to house, and would strike death and, if they found the blood, the blood of the slain lamb on the doorposts, they would pass by that marked house. Now, if that was the power of the blood of the lamb, how much more power do we have in the Blood, the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ? If we place this image upon our doors – or again inside, if you can’t outside on the door – the power of the Precious Blood has everything.
It is the Blood that brings us the Holy Spirit, as Father Seraphim says. And this image gives us protection. Protection. And listen to this, I had the honor of sitting with Father Seraphim and our provincial Father Kazimierz who has joined us today for Mass, and they both are fluent in Polish. And they translated something from the writings of Blessed Michael Sopocko that is not in the Diary of Saint Faustina. But is so powerful that we put it in this video – that we hope has been shared to you – that gives you an idea of the promises made by Jesus through this Image of Divine Mercy. Listen to the words that Saint Faustina told to her confessor, Blessed Michael Sopocko, that Jesus said:
“When chastisements for sins come upon the world, and your own country will experience utter degradation, the only refuge will be Trust in My Mercy. I will protect the cities and the homes in which the Divine Mercy Image is found. I will protect the persons who will venerate or honor this Image. The only refuge will be Trust in My Mercy.”
And then Jesus continues in His words to Faustina, that Blessed Michael Sopocko told us:
“Let everyone procure for their homes this Image. Because there will yet come trials. And these homes and entire families, and everyone individually who will hold this Image of Mercy in deep reverence, I will preserve from every sort of misfortune. The time will come when all those who do so will give witness to the miraculous efficacy and to the special protection of Mercy flowing from this Image.”
That is amazing! And this is what we ask you to do. Post an image – it could be any Image of Divine Mercy – you have a little prayer card… Go to our webpage https://www.thedivinemercy.org/divinemercyimage. Get one for free. There is no cost. Just go there. Download it. Print it. And put it in your home. Ask for the protection of this incredible Image.
Again, if the lamb slain in the Old Testament – whose blood was put on the doorposts – caused the Angel of Death to pass by; we think, and we know, that the Precious Blood of the Real Lamb – the Real Sacrificed Lamb – will offer protection.
Now, as we said in the video, this doesn’t mean that the virus may not strike you or your loved ones. This is not a magic wand, or a rabbit’s foot. But what it does mean, is the protection of God’s Mercy is with you. It may not be physically; it may be more spiritually. But we know that God is offering protection through this Image. And you know, it all ties to Divine Mercy.
A good friend of mine, Denis Nolan, and his wife, Cathy, just sent me an email this morning. They run, MaryTV; it’s a beautiful ministry. We’ve been connecting the messages of Fatima and Medjugorje and Divine Mercy into this meaning of today’s times. And they said, remember what Saint Faustina said in the Diary, that when the angel was ready to strike at a particular city in Poland – and we believe, Father Seraphim says, that that may have been worse off for the sins of abortion – that all of her prayers were ineffective, until she prayed the words Jesus gave her of The Divine Mercy Chaplet. And in those words, the angel was rendered helpless.
Now, again, I’m not saying if you pray the chaplet, or have the image, you may not be stricken; you may be. But remember, Jesus wept. He doesn’t want this. But He does allow it sometimes. But I’m telling you, we can help. By the more we pray, the more we trust – remember, trust is a vessel by which all grace is received – the more we can invoke the power of the Mercy of God upon ourselves and the whole world.
And for those who believe this is punishment, that is addressed in the prayer as well. “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world.” So, it does make reparation. This is a powerful image. This is a powerful prayer.
And, so, we invite all of you to please share. If you want to find this video that tells you how to place the image and bless it; again, https://www.thedivinemercy.org/. Please join us. Right now, more than ever – even if we’re forced to be Mary’s and we can’t be Martha’s – we can make a huge difference in the world. And, in fact, I think that’s why God’s allowing it. Time for our prayers. Time for our family. And, most importantly, time with God.
So, let us make the most of a difficult situation, and use the tools of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the Image of Divine Mercy, to help you in that process. May God bless all of you. Stay hopeful. And, most of all, Trust in God’s Divine Mercy!
May we all draw very near to Jesus, Divine Mercy, and Mary, Mother of Mercy!!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
(c) Mary TV 2020