3rd Sunday of Easter

My pastor friend put sanitary hot air hand dryers in the rest rooms at his church and after two weeks took them out.  I asked him why and he confessed that they worked fine but when he went in there he saw a sign that read,

"For a sample of this week's sermon, push the button."

Why is today Divine Mercy Sunday?

On April 30, 2000, St. John Paul II canonized the Polish nun who had received from Christ the amazing revelations of the Divine Mercy in the early years of the twentieth century, Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska [koh- VAHL-skuh].

During that ceremony, the pope fulfilled one of the requests that Christ had made through those revelations: that the entire Church reserve the Second Sunday of the Easter Season to honor and commemorate God's infinite mercy.

Where do we see this mercy revealed in today's Readings?

First of all, we see it in the reaction Christ shows to those men, his chosen Apostles, who had abandoned him just two nights before.

They had abandoned Jesus in his most difficult hour, but Jesus wasn't going to abandon them.  He passes through the locked doors, passes through their fears, regret, and guilt, and appears to them

He hasn't given up on them. He brings them his peace.  And he reaffirms his confidence in them by reaffirming their mission: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

We also see God's mercy in Christ's reaction to the men who had crucified him.  Does he crush them in revenge? No.  Instead, he sends out his Apostles to tell them - and to tell the whole sinful world, the world that had crucified its God - that they can be redeemed, that God has not condemned them: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

And then, just to make sure that the Church is fully armed to communicate this message, Jesus gives the ultimate revelation of God's mercy - he delegates to his Apostles his divine power to forgive sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

This is the explicit institution of the sacrament of Confession, the sacrament in which the limitless ocean of God's mercy overwhelms the puny ocean of our misery.

 

Weekly Reflections

Father Joe will share his reflection each week!


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3rd Sunday of Easter

Sunday, April 30, 2017
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