Bishop: Share God’s Mercy with Others!

BRIDGEPORT—The mercy of Christ must be found in our parish communities and in our relationships with others, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said during his homily at the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass held this afternoon at St. Augustine Cathedral.

“We who celebrate the gift of God’s Divine Mercy today are asked to give it back to the world,” he said to the hundreds who filled the Cathedral.

“We must be agents of his Mercy to the world that is dead and needs hope. They must find it in us.”

For the second consecutive year the diocesan Divine Mercy liturgy was held during the regularly scheduled 2 p.m. Mass for the Vietnamese community.

Others throughout the diocese joined the service followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet and a reception.

The Bishop concelebrated the Mass with Father Augustine Nguyen, episcopal vicar for Vietnamese. Responses and hymns were sung in Vietnamese, English and Latin.

Referring to the Gospel in which the apostle Thomas doubts the risen Jesus, the Bishop said, “We’ve been too hard on St. Thomas. We live in a world of ‘Thomases’ who can’t see God or feel his love. They are looking for a place to find his love, and they must find it in you and me.”

The Bishop said the Acts of the Apostles “help us to understand the Feast of Divine Mercy.”

He said that after abandoning Jesus at his crucifixion, the Apostles “became the first to receive Christ’s mercy and they were so grateful they gave their lives for it.”

“We know form the Acts of the Apostles that they spoke courageously and their preaching has allowed us centuries later to come to the faith.”

Photos by Amy Mortensen

The Bishop said the early Christian communities were “communities of love” where people shared what they had, attended to the poor, cared for the sick, and “bore witness to the Resurrection.”

Noting that Divine Mercy Sunday comes on the Octave of Easter, the Bishop said we are all sinners who “come back to life” through Christ’s mercy.

“It is a love we don’t deserve and can’t earn. He gives it freely to us through Baptism and the Eucharist.”

The Bishop said “we must ask for the courage to follow the witness of the Apostles, creating a community in the Church and in the world where there are no poor, and all are comforted in their loneliness, pain and suffering.”

Immediately following Mass people processed out to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the new prayer garden alongside the Cathedral.

Bishop Caggiano knelt under a strong midday sun and a very chilly breeze to lead the Divine Mercy Chaplet while hundreds gathered around him.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,” he prayed.
“Have mercy on us and on the whole world,” the faithful responded.

After the Chaplet, the Vietnamese youth group performed a ance in Honor of the Divine Mercy.