19 Apr 2019 | Posted by: chadmin
Happy Easter! Easter is the culmination of the life and death of Jesus. We celebrate these days as God’s love for us and the promise of eternal life. It is so important for us to put ourselves in the mind of the Apostles in those post-resurrection days. They were bewildered, scared, confused, lost, tired, and afraid of the future. Certainly we can all have these reactions to life experiences, but we are called to follow the Apostles through the New Testament scriptures. As they witnessed and spoke to the risen Christ, they were able to understand and make sense of the Old Testament scriptures and the promise of the Messiah. Jesus inspired them to allow the truth and the effects of the resurrection to take root in their hearts that they might live and preach in the name of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are called to allow the Holy Spirit to confirm within us the ramifications of the resurrection. As we celebrate this season each year, we are called to transformation, to renewal, to understanding and to clarity. This Easter season, with the Apostles, let us allow the Holy Spirit to dispel any doubt in our hearts and give us the apostolic zeal to live in union with God.
Next Sunday, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. For hundreds of years, the prayers of this Mass have recalled the mercy of God. In the early 1900s, Jesus appeared to a Polish woman named Sister Faustina. Jesus entrusted to her an image and a chaplet that called on his Divine Mercy. Over a period of years, Faustina had visions of Jesus. He talked with her about her own spiritual journey and about His desire for the world to be saved. If you are interested in these apparitions, they are recorded in “Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Faustina.” While there are many elements and levels to the visions, the main aspect of the message from Jesus is for the world to “trust” in His Divine Mercy. Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and He asked that an image be painted that resembled His image. A picture of this hangs in our vestibule all year long. If you look at the picture, you will see Jesus touching his heart with two rays, one white and one pale, flowing from his heart to the world. The rays denote blood and water that came forth from the side of Jesus when the soldier pierced his side on the Cross. The water makes our souls righteous and the blood is the life of our souls. They symbolize the tender mercy of the heart of Jesus. While the whole message is too much to recall here, the image and the chaplet prayer call us to trust Jesus and embrace his mercy by living a holy life. The following is a quote from the Diary of St. Faustina about the call to living and accepting mercy.
“I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third — by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy. Many souls … are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy” (1317).
We will have a Divine Mercy hour of prayer at 3pm on Sunday, April 28. Please join us for Adoration of the Eucharist, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the opportunity to go to confession.