Second Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16, 2023

Dear Friends,

Mercy is the greatest attribute of God, and the Second Sunday of Easter is celebrated as The Sunday of Divine Mercy. It is a day during which the depths of Jesus’ tender mercy are open for all to draw upon.

Jesus’ desire that all know and call on his merciful heart was promoted in recent times by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Saint John Paul II, who had a great devotion to the Divine Mercy, canonized St. Faustina in 2000, making her the "first saint of the new millennium." The pope called her "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time." Through her Diary, The Divine Mercy in My Soul, we have come to know a great deal more about the mercy of Jesus and how he longs to be united with us. Jesus told St. Faustina during a private revelation: “My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they would understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 367).

St. Faustina’s Diary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which came to us through her remind us to trust in Jesus' endless mercy and to live a life of mercy toward others. Pray this unforgettable prayer as often as you can: Jesus, I Trust in You!

The readings from the Scripture today speak of the merciful nature of God, who holds no grudges but simply desires to pour out His Love and Peace. St. Peter’s First Letter (1:3-9) empasizes this: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.”

In the Gospel, St. John gives us a beautiful description of the encounter of St. Thomas with the Risen Lord, who appears to the apostles with the nail and spear marks intact from the crucifixion. If anyone needed Jesus’ mercy, it was Thomas. Despite the doubts Thomas expresses, Jesus offers Forgiveness and Peace.

Most of the time our stance is that of Thomas: we cannot truly accept the forgiving love of Jesus. When Thomas comes around to believing, he utters something that is uniquely providential. His cry of “MY Lord and My God” speaks volumes about what can happen for us when we accept the offer of mercy from the Lord. I invite you to reflect on Thomas’s golden words of faith and make them your own.

I am very happy to announce that Fr. Arul Raj Gali, C.S.C., will be visiting us at the end of April. Fr. Arul has served as the Assistant General of the Congregation of Holy Cross and also as the Director of Family Ministries in India. Currently, he serves as Executive Director of the Family Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI). On Monday, May 1, 2023 at 6 p.m. Fr. Arul will give a talk in Holy Cross Hall on The Challenges Faced by the Families Today. Refreshments will be served. Please come and enjoy the presentation and learn about how to deal with the challenges that we face from our world.

Please come on Saturday, April 22, 2023 and joyfully give thanks to the Lord when our Bishop, John Noonan, celebrates the Eucharist with us at 10 a.m. and then blesses the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes and the Stations of the Cross. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event:  you will not get to see the blessing of many grottos in your life. It is also a time for community rejoicing, a time to relax and refresh ourselves with a picnic.

I am immensely grateful to you for your generosity and love and commitment to our parish. We are Blessed Because of YOU!

Have a Blessed Week!

With love,

Fr. John