Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ the King and the Works of Mercy

St. Faustina recorded this incident in her diary: “Jesus came to the main entrance today, under the guise of a poor young man. This young man, emaciated, barefoot, and bareheaded, and with his clothes in tatters, was frozen because the day was cold and rainy. He asked for something hot to eat. So I went to the kitchen but found nothing there for the poor. But, after searching around for some time, I succeeded in finding some soup, which I reheated and into which I crumbled some bread, and I gave it to the poor young man, who ate it. As I was taking the bowl from him, he gave me to know that He was the Lord of heaven and earth. When I saw Him as He was, He vanished from my sight. When I went back in, and reflected on what happened at the gate, I heard these words in my soul: My daughter, the blessing of the poor who bless me as they leave this gate have reached my ears. And your compassion, within the bounds of obedience, has pleased Me, and this is why I came down from My throne – to taste the fruits of your mercy.” (Diary, 1312)

St. Faustina responded to that voice: “O my Jesus, now everything is clear to me, and I understand all that has just happened. I somehow felt and asked myself what sort of a poor man is this that radiates such modesty. From that moment on, there was stirred up in my heart an even purer love toward the poor and the needy. Oh, how happy I am that the superiors have given me such a task! I understand that mercy is manifold: one can do good always and everywhere and at all times. An ardent love of God sees all around itself constant opportunities to share itself through deeds, word and prayer. Now I understand the words which You spoke to me, O Lord, some time ago”. (Diary 1313)

The Lord Jesus answered St. Faustina: “I know, My daughter, that you understand it and that you do everything in your power. But write this for the many souls who are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet, spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of each soul. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of ju dgement. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasures for themselves, they would not be judged for they would forestall My judgement with their mercy.” (Diary, 1317)

The Son of Man will come seated on His throne and escorted with His angels. He will come to judge all the nations who will be assembled before Him. And He will judge each of us according to our works of mercy. There will be no exemption because “one can do good always and everywhere and at all times.” If we cannot afford to do temporal works of mercy, there are always the spiritual works of mercy that are within the reach of every soul. The temporal works of mercy are: To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked; To harbour the harbourless; To visit the sick; To ransom the captive; To bury the dead. The spiritual works of mercy are: To instruct the ignorant; To counsel the doubtful; To admonish sinners; To bear wrongs patiently; To forgive offences willingly; To comfort the afflicted; To pray for the living and the dead.

Knowing that our time is running out and that we are really approaching the day of judgement, let us waste no time. Let us take hold of every opportunity to gather eternal treasure for ourselves. Remember: If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Blessed are the merciful, they shall obtain mercy.

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