We have a new statue at St. Mary of the Angels that was blessed and dedicated on the feast of the Sacred Heart, ten days ago. The statue integrates elements of traditional Sacred Heart images and the original painting of the Divine Mercy of St. Faustina.
In the image is of the risen Christ who is gently raising his right hand to confer peace, just as he did with his apostles on Easter Sunday:
“Jesus himself stood among them and said, ‘Peace to you.’ But startled and frightened, they supposed they saw a spirit. So he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, with questionings in your hearts? See my hands and my feet: it is I; touch me and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ Saying this, he showed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:36-40).
“On the evening of the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Saying this, he showed them his hands and his side” (John 20:19-20).
Jesus shows his disciples his wounds, not to accuse them in anger for not believing in him, or for abandoning him and denying him before those who had crucified him. No! Jesus shows them his wounds as a way of saying that he endured these wounds out of love for them, they are marks of his love for each one of them: “You are worth that much to me, in fact, you are worth everything to me, I poured out every drop of my blood out of love for you!”
This is the source of true peace.
Then Jesus reminds the apostles, as I have loved and forgiven you, I send you out to do the same:
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ Saying this, he breathed on them and then said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21-23; cf. John 15:12).
So, from the Heart of Divine Mercy and Love we are reconciled with God and receive peace. In addition, as our Lord shows us his heart, wounded by love, out of which flows water and blood: “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (John 19:34). The flow of water is transformed into white rays of grace that flows into the purifying waters of baptism, making us holy daughters and sons of the all-holy God. The flow of blood is transformed into red rays of grace that flows into the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass whereby we become one body with Christ.
Contemplating this image and the soft gaze of Jesus should give us peace, and move us to approach the Sacraments of Divine Mercy and Love (Reconciliation and Holy Communion) and to receive them more frequently. This will fill us with peace.
May Jesus also move us to “So go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
May Our Blessed Mother aid us in this noble quest.
Yours In Christ,
Fr. John Waiss