Sherry Antonetti is a freelance writer, blogger and published author of The Book of Helen. She lives just outside of Washington, DC with her husband and their ten children.
This past week, we celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy. Maybe you attended the 3:00 service, took advantage of the offering of confession, spent time in adoration, or recited the chaplet. Maybe you tried to perform one of the spiritual or corporeal acts of mercy as part of your weekend or Sunday. Maybe you performed all the requirements for a plenary or partial indulgence.
Now, what are you doing to be a Feast of Divine Mercy for the world?
We’re called to be the body of Christ to the world. That means the world must feed on us, must find from encountering us mercy, truth and charity. We’re to feed the hungry, comfort the grieving, visit the imprisoned, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and bury the dead. We’re to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving injuries, bearing wrongs patiently and praying for the living and the dead.
This is not a check-list, so much as it is a gut check. These are not if’s, these are manifestations of our faith, as “faith without works, is dead.” They are whens. Because if we do not do these things, we will be asking, "Lord when did we see you hungry? Lord when did we see you thirsty?" To be true disciples of Christ, to be his friends, if we love Him, we must act as Christ, we must go out into the world, into our workplaces and homes and do all these things. We know this, but are we doing it? If we find we are not doing these things, or have hesitancy, we must pray for the will to will to do these acts when they present themselves, and further, to be looking for those opportunities.
Looking at the news, looking on the internet, driving to the store, we come face to face with the reality of how much mercy the world does need. That mercy we ask Christ to pour out onto the world is grace, and it does come — but part of that asking involves us doing. When we ask for the bread and wine to be consecrated and become the body and blood of Christ, we ask to be given this heavenly food and be sent out to reveal the one we’ve known so intimately, to the world. When we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, we’re asking to be sent out the same way, to be the salve to others the way Christ is the salvation for all who out of love, do as Christ asks. We must feed the sheep.