This Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, is Divine Mercy Sunday. This is such an important day for us, especially during this YEAR OF MERCY. We are called to see how the love of God is poured out upon us in His Mercy. Now we especially see Divine Mercy in relationship to our death, but I think we should also see it in our day to day walk with Jesus. We should experience all of life with a sense of gratitude for the Mercy God shows us. The gift of life itself calls us to be filled with gratitude for what God has given us.
This last week I have personally seen God’s love and Mercy at work. On Monday I received a call from my brother that my 90 year old dad had become seriously ill. He lived in an assisted living home in Columbia, SC. I live in Long Island, NY. His care workers saw that he did not come out of his room for breakfast. They knew that he never missed a meal, so they thought something was wrong. They went in to find him unconscious on his bed and immediately called an ambulance. He was rushed to the hospital and my brother was called. After some testing they found that he had a bad infection caused by his divitriculitus. It was severe enough that they believed he would not recover. My brother told me I should come down as soon as possible. Since the airfare was extremely expensive, I planned to drive down, which would have taken me two days. Fortunately, God has given me a wife who had the wisdom to tell me that I should fly down. I did that and came to dad Tuesday afternoon.
As soon as I got to the hospital, I talked to my brother. Dad was getting worse. I went in to see him and dad was fairly awake because the nurses had just washed him. He lit up as soon as I walked in and tried to talk, but could only mouth “Marty”. His look on his face when he saw me is one I will never forget. God, in His Mercy, allowed me to get there just in time. Right after that, he never fully awoke. All four of his children, and several of his grandchildren were gathered around him. We stayed with him until finally, on Wednesday morning, he breathed his last. I see God’s Mercy in allowing all four of his children to be there for his last few days.
I also see God’s Mercy in his death. Although the doctors told us that he could have a prolonged and difficult death, he didn’t. On Wednesday morning his blood pressure kept failing and the hospital allowed all four of us gather around him in his ICU bed. We told him how much we loved him and we first prayed the Numbers 6 prayer and then prayed the Our Father. As we prayed the last words of the Our Father, he breathed his last breath. He died peacefully, with his children and grandchildren around him. I certainly saw God’s Mercy in this.
My dad was originally baptized a Methodist and when I was about 20 he became a Jehovah Witness. This conversion of his has caused a great deal of difficulty within our family. However, the last few years have brought a lot of healing to us all and I see God’s Mercy at work in this. I really believe the Jehovah Witnesses are very misled in their beliefs and I would certainly consider them to be in apostasy. I have worried about my dad (and Mom’s) salvation , but I know that dad loved God and served Him in the way he thought was correct. Because I know of God’s Mercy, I feel better about my Mom and Dad’s salvation. I do believe that we all have to face God in judgment for our lives. However, it is good to know that we have a good and Merciful judge.