|The Divine Mercy: PREPARING FOR THE SECOND COMING
Our Lord makes it very clear to Saint Faustina that this need to proclaim His message of mercy is urgent, because the world needs it as a preparation for His corning again: Speak to the world about My mercy…It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice (848) …You will prepare the world for My final coming (429) … Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near (965).
Repeatedly the Lord tells Saint Faustina that He is offering sinners the “last hope of salvation.” No matter how great our sins, He wants us to come back to Him, but we must respond now, while it is still the time of mercy: Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy (1588)… I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation (1160)…While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy (848) … He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice (1146).
Our Lady, too, speaks to Saint Faustina about the urgency of the message of mercy: You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as q merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy (635).
Pope John Paul II seems to have a strong sense of this urgency. In 1981, at the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy, he stated that from the very beginning of his ministry he has considered the message of mercy as his “special task,” assigned to him by God “in the present situation of man, the Church and the world.” In four of his encyclicals he speaks repeatedly of the year 2000 as the “new Advent” and stresses that we are now living in a special time of preparation for the new coming of the Lord. He urges us “to implore God’s mercy for humanity in this hour of history … to beg for it at this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world as we approach the end of the second millennium” (Rich in Mercy, 15).