CDM Penang celebrates Feast of St Faustina

The Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) held a quiet celebration of St Faustina’s feastday Oct 5. There was no procession carrying St Faustina’s statue around the neighbourhood. It was just the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet followed by Mass and veneration of St Faustina’s relic.

Oct 17, 2020

By Dr Ivan Filmer
The Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) held a quiet celebration of St Faustina’s feastday Oct 5. There was no procession carrying St Faustina’s statue around the neighbourhood. It was just the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet followed by Mass and veneration of St Faustina’s relic.

At the beginning of the homily on the gospel of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) the new parish priest of CDM, Fr Michael, remarked that people would like to know the life experience and faith journey of the saint and how God nurtured that gift of vocation. On this particular day, it was the feast of a poor and not highly educated girl who stepped into the convent  at the age of 15 searching for God and holiness, how God spoke to her and how she took the liberty to record and produce the Diary of St Faustina. However, one particular sentence that has stood out for Fr Michael in the diary were the words  “Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my Mercy” (Diary entry 300). Fr emphasised that Mercy is a gift that only God is able to give. His Holiness Pope Francis has even said that the name of God is mercy. It is Jesus who is the fount of mercy and St Faustina has given us the beautiful line “Jesus, I Trust in You” (Diary entry 327). It is only if we have experienced mercy that we will be able to share this mercy. Blessed are the merciful: for they  shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7).

Fr continued to explain that this is the same for forgiveness. We are reminded of this as we recite the Our Father each day (… as we forgive those who trespass against us…). Love begets love and mercy begets mercy.

Fr Michael went on to relate the incident in the gospel when the lawyer asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus told him to love God and his neighbour. The lawyer had a problem with who was his neighbour. In return Jesus related the story of the Good Samaritan. If one understood the context of those times, just the beginning would have explained the whole meaning  of the story. A man was once on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho… one doesn’t go from Jerusalem (the city of the temple) to Jericho (the place where brigands dwelled) unless he was a man who had fallen into sin. A man who was in shame, in doubt and lost. This is the same as some of us today. Of the three people who passed by, two were learned people of God and yet the outcast, the one rejected by society, the Samaritan stopped to help. He showed compassion, the Latin root word Misericordia meaning mercy. He knew what it meant to reach out as he had experienced mercy himself.

Fr reminded all that … Blessed are the merciful for they will be  shown mercy. Mercy begets Mercy. Once we experience that mercy, we will be able to share it with others.

At the end of Mass, the congregation was able to venerate the relic of St Faustina.

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