Yesterday, Divine Mercy Sunday, Bishop Donal McKeown celebrated Mass in Saint Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry. During his homily, the Bishop of Derry emphasised the Church’s teaching on mercy, and how it is at the centre of the Catholic faith.

At the outset of his homily, Bishop McKeown outlined the paradox of the contemporary understanding of sin, whereby everything is permitted but nothing is forgiven. In contrast, he said “Jesus speaks mercy rather than condemnation into our angry hurt and our confusion.

“Jesus took on his shoulders the sins of the world – the violence and greed, the exploitation of the weak and the pollution of the environment. And what was his response? The wrath of God on his persecutors or his fickle disciples? No, just an empty tomb and the words, ‘Peace be with you’.”

Bishop McKeown illustrated how God takes the rubbish from our past and uses it as “compost that helps growth.” The Bishop urges is to trust and “believe in the creativity of God which can makes our lives beautiful, no matter how ugly they may have been.

“Through forgiveness and mercy, the Christian community can be buried with Christ and be raised again with his Risen life. The cold hard rock of sin, division and stupidity cannot lock away God’s hope and dream for us. New life is possible.”

In conclusion, Bishop McKeown said, “Nearly a hundred years ago, Sr Faustina spoke of divine mercy into a sore and hurting Europe after the First World War. She may have used a language that some people in 2020 find unusual. But the message of divine mercy, the fruit of the Resurrection of Jesus, is desperately needed today. We need to know the abundance of divine mercy, so that we can bear witness to it in our century. Only mercy will see us through this crisis. Only mercy will drive us to re-build life-giving communities of faith.

“Today we turn to Jesus and say with Thomas, ‘My Lord and My God’. And we pray that he will use us to as channels of his peace. For that peace is the first gift that he wants to give the whole world today on this Divine Mercy Sunday.”

Ends