Why is there a new image of Jesus at the front of the church?
Each year on the Sunday after Easter, the Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. After receiving a series of private visions from Jesus in the early 20th century, St. Faustina began to promote devotion to Divine Mercy. This devotion became so popular and so relevant to modern times that it eventually found its way onto the liturgical calendar. On the day that Divine Mercy Sunday became an official celebration recognized by the Church, Pope St. John Paul II was quoted saying that it was the happiest day of his life. The image seen at the front of the church is a depiction of Jesus as he appeared in one of the visions given to St. Faustina. Jesus’ right hand is raised as if he is giving a blessing and his left hand is pointing to his chest, from which two rays of light shine forth. This recalls the scene in the gospel where blood and water flow from the side of Jesus after he dies on the cross (Jn 19:34). The red ray symbolizes the blood of Christ, reminding us of the sacrament of the Eucharist, and the translucent ray symbolizes water, reminding us of the sacrament of Baptism. These two sacraments are the pillars of all seven sacraments of the Church, and it is primarily through these sacraments that God transmits his abundant grace and mercy to us. The words underneath the image, “Jesus, I trust in you,” remind us of the power of God’s grace and the richness of his merciful love. Too often do we feel inadequate, discouraged, and ashamed. Next time you feel this way, gaze upon the image of Divine Mercy and pray the simple prayer written at the bottom of the image: “Jesus, I trust in you.”