The Bible is full of promises. We find them in both the Old and New Testaments. They were given to groups of people and to individuals and some of them were fulfilled under certain conditions. God has always been trustworthy. Those lacking trust have not received the benefits of these promises.
Many biblical promises relate to our eternal life after death. But there are also many others which relate to our present, earthly life. For example, Jesus said “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink! From his heart shall flow streams of living water” (J 7,37-38); “Everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much, and also inherit eternal life” (Mt 19, 29); “Set your hearts on God’s kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well.” (Lk 12,31)
Jesus linked some of these promises to new forms of devotion. For example, the Divine Mercy to the Feast of Divine Mercy, the image of the Merciful Jesus, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, the hour of mercy and spreading the devotion of the Divine Mercy. Our Lord guaranteed to fulfil them on two conditions. The first condition is one’s trust in God’s goodness. The second calls for mercy towards one’s neighbour. Some promises are attached to praying at the hour of mercy at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
There are some events in the Gospel where the time of day is mentioned. Saint John wrote in his Gospel that it was about 10 o’clock when he decided to follow Jesus. He also knows the hour at which he stood under the cross and took Our Lady to his home. In Cana in Galilee Mary asked Jesus to help the hosts of the wedding feast. He answered: “My hour has not yet come.”
Jesus mentioned His hour, the hour of sacrifice on the cross and passing from this world to His Father many times. “In all truth I tell you the hour is coming, indeed it is already here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God” (J 5, 25); “Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (J 12,23); “Father the hour has come; glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you.” (J 17,1) Before His ascension into heaven He said to the apostles “It is not for you to know the hour or date that the Father has decided by his own authority.” (Acts 1,7)
We know from the Diary of Saint Faustina that an hour favoured by the Heavenly Father is 3 o’clock in the afternoon. God is beyond time. He is independent. But he can do special, to fill them with extraordinary power and grace.
Jesus is the Lord of history and of time. There were some periods of history when He acted in a special way, with overwhelming spiritual power. Let us recall the beginnings of the Church at Pentecost, with the descending of the Holy Spirit. Despite many obstacles associated with the descent multitudes of people came to Christ and became Christians. The Church developed and grew. Such a time is called “Karios” in Greek.
Similarly, he can choose special hours for us to obtain particular graces. Such an hour of grace is 3 o’clock in the afternoon. At this time some television channels in the Philippines stop broadcasting and instead display the Image of the Divine Mercy on the screen. Viewers have a chance to be reminded of the hour of mercy and are encouraged to pray.
It comes from Jesus and was given to Saint Faustina in a special revelation in October 1937 in Cracow.
Jesus said to her “At 3 o’clock implore My mercy especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the world.” (Diary 1320)
A few months later He repeated His demand specifying the promise attached to it. Jesus called this hour ‘the hour of great mercy for the world’. At this hour when he was dying on the cross, mercy triumphed over injustice.
We read in the Diary “As often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners. (...) Try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it. But when you aren’t able to, then at least step into the chapel and adore my heart full of mercy present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. But if you are unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a brief instant.” (Diary 1572)
Jesus promises “In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.” (Diary 1320) “You can obtain everything for yourself and for others.” (Diary 1572)
Our Lord laid down three conditions in relation to this prayer. Firstly, the prayer has to be directed to Jesus. Secondly, it must be said at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. And thirdly, it has to call on the value and merits of the Lord’s Passion.
Father Piotr Prusakiewicz, CSMA