Pastor's Corner 040713

posted Apr 3, 2013, 1:03 PM by Music Director

I hope you all had a blessed and very happy Easter, but just as with Christmas, Easter is not just a day but a season.  The Resurrection of Jesus is such an overwhelming victory that it can’t be celebrated for just one day.  We celebrate it for 7 weeks!  Today marks the end of the first phase of the Easter Season, the “octave” (or “8 days”) of Easter.  In Roman tradition, great feasts were celebrated for a minimum of one week.  An octave extends that custom to an extra day. 

Since the dawn of the third millennium, the Second Sunday of Easter has also been designated “Divine Mercy” Sunday.  The message and devotion is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording revelations she received about God’s mercy which began in 1931. Even before her death seven years later, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.

            The message revealed to St. Faustina is that God’s love for us is so great that it obliterates all of our sins.  All we need to do is call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and allow ourselves to become vessels through which that mercy can flow out to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.  It is a message we can remember simply as ABC:

               Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer, repent of our sins and ask Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world. Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

            During the course of the revelations, Jesus asked that the Sunday after Easter be designated as Divine Mercy Sunday. Given that the Scriptural texts assigned to that day include a description of the works of mercy performed by the earliest believers (Acts of the Apostles) and the risen Christ’s command to His disciples to forgive sins (Gospel of John), the second Sunday of Easter is perfectly suited to Our Lord’s request. This feast, which had already been observed in Poland and was being celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on April 30, 2000

               The earliest and most prominent element of the Devotion is the Image. On February 22, 1931 Jesus appeared to St. Faustina with reddish and whitish rays radiating from His heart, symbolic of the blood and water which flowed from His side when His Body was pierced with a lance after His death on the cross.  The white rays symbolize the water of baptism which cleanses us of the effects of sin. The red rays symbolize the Blood Jesus shed for the life of the world. 

                              The Divine Mercy Chaplet or Novena prayers are usually prayed at 3:00 PM, whether on Divine Mercy Sunday or any other day, in remembrance of the hour tradition holds that Jesus died on the cross, the ultimate act of Divine Mercy.  Let us all take some time today to devote ourselves to Divine Mercy:  to receive it, and to radiate it to others.  By doing so, may we, the people bound to the crucified and risen Christ, draw more people to Him, as we have been drawn to Him.

In His Love,

Fr. Mike