There are feasts celebrated within the Church calendar that have been established by the Church – the celebration of a Feast Day for a particular saint comes to mind. Saint Patrick and Saint Nicholas are probably the most recognized Feast Days even among non-Catholic communities.
And then there are those that have been established from above. Today Divine Mercy Sunday. Divine Mercy Sunday is a moveable feast in that it is always celebrated on the Sunday following Easter. Unlike other Feast or special days that have been decreed by the Church, Divine Mercy has been instituted by Jesus himself. You will not find it in scripture. The observation and acceptance of Divine Mercy Sunday is relatively new in the overall history of the Church. That said, Divine Mercy is of great significance.
In 1931 the world was in the midst of the Great Depression. Memories of World War I were still very much alive in the minds of Europeans. It was then that Faustian Kowalska, a sister of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland, is said to have been visited personally by Jesus. He feared that souls were still not freed from sin. Jesus sought to establish devotions surrounding the Sunday following Easter. Among these are a Novena, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the Hour of Great Mercy. It wasn’t that His passion wasn’t enough, but that people remained lost. Divine Mercy is His mercy. All we need do is ask.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
Have mercy on us
And on the whole of the world
The beauty of any given Sunday, and especially those of faithful significance, is the opportunity to come together as a family. Put aside whatever differences we may have and simply enjoy one another. Think of Divine Mercy as a mini-Easter celebration. Call your uncles and aunts. Gather your cousins and extended family. Set a table, and celebrate the Love and Mercy of our Savior, Christ Jesus.
Divine Mercy Sunday Family Supper
Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin
Russet Mashed Potatoes
Bourbon-Brown Sugar Maple Glazed Carrots
Cider-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup Beef Stock
2 lb Pork Tenderloin
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 cup Apple Cider
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
Heat oven to 425-degrees. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking pan. Pour beef stock into the baking pan, set aside.
Cut each tenderloin in half to fit easily into the skillet. Season pork to taste with salt and pepper, set aside.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear pork, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Transfer pork to the prepared pan. Place in the heated oven and roast until thermometer reads 145-degrees, about 20 minutes.
While the pork roasts, in the now empty skillet bring cider, syrup and vinegar to a boil. Stir to loosen browned bits from the pan. Season with pepper.
Simmer, uncovered on medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Pour apple glaze over tenderloins. Close oven, turn heat off and let pork rest in the oven for about 5 minutes.
Remove pork from oven, transfer to a serving platter. Tent and let rest 5 minutes. Slice tenderloin, pour pan drippings over the pork and serve.
Simple Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs Russet Potatoes
1/4 cup Milk
4 tablespoons Butter
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Peel potatoes, if desired. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Sprinkle water with a little salt if desired.
Bring potatoes to a full boil. Lower heat to maintain a rolling boil without boiling over. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Drain well. Return potatoes to the pot, dry potatoes of excess moisture over low heat, about 2 minutes, shaking pan to keep potatoes from sticking.
Heat milk in the microwave or in a small pan. Add half of butter, one tablespoon at a time, blend until melted into the hot milk. Set aside.
Using a masher, mash potatoes until smooth. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Pour warm buttery milk over the potatoes. Whip until smooth. Transfer mashed potatoes to a serving bowl. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with a little course pepper if desired. Serve immediately.
Simple Brown Gravy
2 cups Beef Stock
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1-1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Cold Water
3 tablespoons Corn Starch
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan bring beef stock to boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
In a small bowl whisk together cold water and corn starch until dissolved to create a thickening slurry. Pour slurry into the boiling beef broth. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until thickened.
Season with salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer to a gravy bowl or boat and serve alongside the potatoes.
Bourbon-Brown Sugar-Maple Glazed Carrots
1 lb Young Carrots with tops
Pinch or so Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
Pinch White Pepper
Rinse carrots well, trim all but about 1/4-inch of the green tops. Set carrots aside.
Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil over medium-heat. Add carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook until carrots are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium-heat, melt butter. Add Brown sugar and stir until melted into the butter as a thick paste. Add Bourbon Whiskey one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. Pour maple syrup into the glaze. Lower heat to a strong simmer, and allow to simmer until mixture is reduced to a thick glaze, about 10 minutes.
Add carrots and toss to blend. Continue to simmer until carrots begin to color, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving dish, season with sea salt and a pinch of pepper and serve.
May the Lord be with you
And with your spirit
Now and forever