On the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, a Saturday when traditionally we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us reflect on part of a talk Pope Benedict gave in a cathedral in Benin when he visited there in 2011.
As we praise God for the marvels which he never ceases to bestow upon humanity, I invite you to meditate for a moment on his infinite mercy. The history of salvation, which culminates in the incarnation of Jesus and finds its fulfillment in the Paschal Mystery, is a radiant revelation of the mercy of God. In the Son, the “Father of mercies” (2 Cor 1:3) is made visible; ever faithful to his fatherhood, he “leans down to each prodigal child, to each human misery, and above all to their moral misery, to their sins” (John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia #6). Divine mercy consists not only in the remission of our sins; it also consists in the fact that God, our Father, redirects us, sometimes not without pain, affliction or fear on our part, to the path of truth and light, for he does not wish us to be lost (cf. Mt 18:14; Jn 3:16). This double expression of divine mercy shows how faithful God is to the covenant sealed with each Christian in his or her baptism. Looking back upon the personal history of each individual and of the evangelization of our countries, we can say together with the Psalmist, “I will sing of thy steadfast love, O Lord, forever” (Ps 88:1).
The Virgin Mary experienced to the highest degree the mystery of divine love: “His mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation” (Lk 1:50), she exclaimed in her Magnificat. By her yes to the call of God, she contributed to the manifestation of divine love in the midst of humanity. In this sense, she is the Mother of Mercy by her participation in the mission of her Son: she has received the privilege of being our helper always and everywhere. … Under the shelter of her mercy, deadened hearts are healed, the snares of the devil are thwarted and enemies are reconciled. In Mary, we have not only a model of perfection, but also one who helps us to realize communion with God and with our brothers and sisters. As Mother of Mercy, she is a sure guide to the disciples of her son who wish to be of service to justice, to reconciliation and to peace. She shows us, with simplicity and with a mother’s heart, the one Light and Truth: her Son, Jesus Christ who leads humanity to its full realization in the Father.