Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is risen, truly He is risen! Let us pray for a joyous and blessed Easter Season, growing in our love for Jesus Christ, His Church and for one another. And may you remember how your response to His love brings great Joy when you love Jesus, others and yourself.
The second Sunday of the Easter Season (April 28th this year) is joyfully proclaimed as Divine Mercy Sunday – on April 30, 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted the Feast of the Divine Mercy when he canonized the first saint of the new millennium: Sister Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938). God’s mercy, His loving forgiveness, wrought for us by Jesus Christ in His Passion, Death and Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, is readily available to us any time that we sincerely seek His mercy.
In the 1930s, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared several times to Saint Faustina and told her to promote devotion to His Divine Mercy, to have an image painted of Him expressing His Divine Mercy. This image represents the Crucified and Risen Christ bringing mercy to the world – indeed, only the mercy and love of God will quench the thirst of all people. The white ray emanating from the Lord’s heart represents the water that recalls the Sacrament of Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The red ray represents the Blood of Christ, recalling for us the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His gift of the Holy Eucharist. After each Mass next weekend, our parish family will pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy while venerating an image of the Divine Mercy in church (we do not worship images, but thank God for such holy reminders that help us to think of Him and His saints). On Good Friday, many people began a Novena to the Divine Mercy (nine days of devotional prayers). Please see the pamphlets and holy cards at the entrances of church, andthedivinemercy.org and marian.org for information about the Divine Mercy devotion that Jesus has given to His Church. May we join in the prayers from the Chaplet: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
May we keep always in our hearts, and in our words and actions, the prayer that Jesus Christ, Divine Mercy Himself, taught to Saint Faustina, which appears on the image of the Divine Mercy: “Jesus, I trust in You.” And let us remember the “ABCs” of God’s Mercy: Ask for His Mercy. Be merciful. Completely trust in Jesus, for He is the Only Savior of the world.
With peace and prayers for a blessed and joyous Easter in Christ,