So this has been a really crazy week, and I don’t know about you, but these allergies have me feeling like I’m walking through a yellow fog… so, suffice to say, I fell a little behind on my usual homily preparation…

But when I sat down and asked the Lord point blank: Ok, Jesus, what do you want me to preach this Sunday? …the answer came back almost immediately, and it was a very simple message:

“Tell them how much I want to give them My Mercy.”

There it is.

Jesus actually does want to forgive you.

Every time.

No matter what.

As long as you are actually sorry for your sins and actually want to change your life, of course He will forgive you. 

There’s absolutely no question. No doubt. No calculating necessary…

Jesus wants to pour out His Divine Mercy on you and on everybody.

That’s what Divine Mercy Sunday is all about ultimately.

In her Diary, St. Faustina recorded conversations she had with Jesus, and time and time again, Jesus urges her — He practically BEGS her! — to simply tell people how much He wants to pour out His Mercy.

In one entry of her Diary, Jesus goes so far as to say this:

“The flames of compassion burn Me. I desire greatly to pour them out upon souls. Speak to the whole world about My mercy….” 

And again: “The flames of mercy are burning Me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them!”

Isn’t that striking to think about? 

The flames of Mercy are burning Jesus… It somehow causes Him pain when He isn’t able to pour out Mercy to us…when we doubt that He wants to forgive us!

But I see it so often…

So many people believe the lie that God doesn’t really want to forgive them… or that He’s sort of tired of forgiving them… Or that they’ve just gone too far and that’s that: Their sin is now officially unforgivable!

For example… in the confessional, sometimes folks will say things like: “I just hope Jesus can forgive me.”

And my answer is always: “OF COURSE HE CAN! He ALWAYS CAN!

Because here’s the thing: Your sin isn’t stronger than Jesus’ Mercy. Don’t trust in the power of your sin more than the power of God’s Mercy…

Mercy always wins… if you allow it to!

As our second reading from the First Letter of St. John put it: “The victory that conquers the world is our faith.”

Jesus is our victorious king! He has already conquered and disarmed sin. He has already conquered the world. Let’s declare it together:


He can and will conquer your sin, too, if you let Him…

The other thing people will sometimes do in the confessional is that they will keep bringing up old sins they’ve confessed already… Like from years and YEARS ago! And while it’s certainly alright to still feel sorry for sins that you’ve already confessed, or to still wish you had never committed them… I wonder if what’s really going on when folks keep drudging up the past is that they don’t think Jesus has actually forgiven them. 

Or worse… that He doesn’t really want to!

But He absolutely does! When the priest says: “And I absolve you from your sins” — IT HAPPENS. Like really, right then and there. It’s done.

And so you can trust that Jesus has set you free from all your regrets, your burdens, and your guilt… He doesn’t want you to be haunted by your past anymore. He wants you to experience peace!!!!!

What was the first thing out of Jesus’ mouth to the disciples when he rose from the dead and appeared among them? — Peace. 


The flames of compassion are BURNING Him… causing Him pain somehow! … until you truly accept and receive this PEACE that He won for you through His Cross and Resurrection.

So do Jesus a favor:

Don’t ever doubt His Divine Mercy! 

Don’t ever doubt that Jesus really does want to forgive you!

Don’t ever fall for the lie that His promise of Mercy is too good to be true!

That was sort of St. Thomas’ problem wasn’t it?

In our gospel today, we heard the story of poor ol’ Doubting Thomas — “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

He thought the news of the Resurrection was too good to be true. How could Jesus be alive? Really? No way… I won’t believe it till I see it.

And lo and behold, Jesus comes to Thomas, and tells him: “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Believe that Mercy is real.

Believe that you are loved and forgiven.

Believe that I actually do want to give Myself to every single human soul, every lost sinner.

Absolutely NOBODY is left out or forgotten!

The Risen Jesus wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE who struggles with gender dysphoria… anyone who presents him or herself as something other than the biological sex God has lovingly given them.

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE who experiences same-sex attraction and has chosen to act on those desires.

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE questioning their faith.

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE engaging in premarital relations. 

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE married outside of the Church.

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE who has had an abortion. 

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE who has sterilized themselves or has used contraception.

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE addicted to food, drugs, drink, lust, social media…

He wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE who is proud, envious, greedy, self-entitled, self-pitying, cynical, wrathful, impatient, lazy, disrespectful, scrupulous… 

In short, Jesus wants to give Mercy to EVERYONE who has ever sinned.

Does that sound too good to be true? …Well it isn’t.

Christ once told St. Faustina this:

“Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. I want to give Myself to souls. I yearn for souls, My daughter. On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.”

But perhaps here, I should make something very clear: Mercy is NOT about pretending that sin isn’t sin. Mercy is NOT about ignoring evil… It’s not like Jesus is saying: “It’s ok that you are disobeying Me and my Church, because hey, like… whatever… I’m merciful.”


The thing about this amazing Divine Mercy is that when those healing rays fall upon us, we are supposed to be changed, right? …Changed forever!

Jesus tells us: “He who has been forgiven much, loves much.” 

If we only knew how much we have truly been forgiven, then we would absolutely turn our whole lives upside down, do anything we had to — out of gratitude and love — to abandon our old way of life and embrace THE True Way… embrace Jesus! Embrace holiness!

We would do what Jesus tells us to do: We would “go and sin no more!” We would obey His commandments willingly, and we would soon find, as that second reading from 1 John put it, that “they are not burdensome” — Why? …because we are loved and supported by God! Because the grace we receive through faith conquers the world! 

St. Ignatius of Loyola once said: “It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”

“If you love me, keep my commandments” — These words of Jesus appear across the front of our Cathedral in Richmond. If we truly love God, if we love Divine Mercy…if we really know how much we’ve been forgiven — then we ought to keep His commandments. We ought to cut off our attachments to sin, and begin to live a totally brand new life. 

A holy life. A life in alignment with the Truth.

That’s how Divine Mercy works.

It’s not just about being let off the hook. It’s not just a “get out of jail free” card from Jesus.

Divine Mercy is about falling more deeply in love with a Merciful God who is already madly in love with us.

So “do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Believe that the Risen Jesus does desperately want to give you His Mercy. But He also is inviting you to fully repent. To be changed forever. To be holy. So as to have life in His name.