KRAKOW, Poland, July 27, 2016 – In simple yet clear language, a bishop told young people in one of the simultaneous World Youth Day (WYD) catecheses scheduled today that it is precisely one’s hurts, suffering, and pain that makes one capable of showing mercy to others.
“No one can share mercy except through his or her wounds… No one can share God’s mercy apart from his or her wounds. You cannot love as Jesus loves unless in some way He asks from you a lot,” said Bridgeport Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano during a catechesis in the parish of St. Bartolomeo in Mogilany, a town just south of Krakow.
“Only wounded hearts are capable of loving. And the truth is… we are all wounded by our sins, our faults, mistakes, things we have done. And those things once they are forgiven and healed.. they are still there. But they make us more loving, compassionate, merciful.”
Love beyond imagining
He explained woundedness by talking about what one sees in the mirror.
“What does God see when He looks at you into the the mirror of your eyes?… That is where mercy is born. Because you know who God sees? God sees a daughter or a son whom He loves beyond your wildest imagination. He sees someone whom He left with gifts. He sees someone who is hurt and wants to heal. He sees every secret you have, every dark moment of your heart. He sees everything about you, knows everything. And gives you grace. He loves you. He wants you to live a life of holiness. He loves you and that is the beginning is the gift of mercy,” said the prelate, who led a reflection on mercy for pilgrims from the Philippines, Canada, Zimbabwe, and the United States of America, among others.
His catechesis was the first in a series of talks about the Divine Mercy. In the first talk, he discussed the theme of Divine Mercy as an acceptance of God’s love.
The prelate, who serves in Southwestern Connecticut, said the faithful are given the opportunity to experience the gift of mercy in the sacrament of reconcillation.
“Therefore mercy is not just giving food to the hungry. It is not just giving homes to the homeless. Before we can give mercy to anyone. Mercy is God giving it to you first.”
He also discussed how people see the world as divided into two groups; the “haves” and the “have nots.”
No way to earn mercy
“The haves are those who can share and the have nots [those] who cannot. And the world wants you to believe that the only ones who can give mercy are the haves who can share. Divine mercy says that every single person is a have not. Every single person in this world cannot have true joy and happiness without trusting the name of Jesus Christ. So we are not a world divided into two. We are all equal brothers and sisters before the throne of mercy. But we are all wonderfully and equally loved by God.”
According to the prelate, the depth of God’s love for everyone cannot be stressed enough.
Caggiano added: “If you were the only person on earth Jesus would have suffered and died for you. Let God love you. Every breathe you take is an expression of God’s mercy. There is nothing you can do in life to earn God’s mercy.”
“The world wants you to believe that you are not worthy of being loved. that you are not holy enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, and therefore how could anyone love you? It is not easy to believe that we such a wonderful marvelous remarkable God.”
Hundreds of thousands of young people have converged on Krakow, Poland for the World Youth Day, which carries the theme “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7). (Maria Go/CBCPNews)