From Our Pastor: Divine Mercy Sunday
The Second Sunday of Easter we call Divine Mercy Sunday. That title came about during the reign of Pope Saint John Paul the Great. He instituted this Sunday as Divine Mercy Sunday to remember the visions of St. Faustina of Jesus the Divine Mercy. It is a familiar image to most. This is an opportunity to remember the abundant mercy of God flowing from His pierced side. Water and blood flowed forth from the side of Christ after His death on the cross. Here, His mercy flowed forth and washed us clean in the blood of the Lamb of God. We commemorate that mercy this Sunday and remind ourselves we can always turn back to God, and His mercy is abundant when we have a contrite heart for our sins. He offers us His infinite mercy no matter what we have done or how long it has been, when we turn back to Him in confession.
We know from the readings this weekend that His healing power is still present today, most especially in the apostles, the Church, and the sacraments. We see that even the shadow of St. Peter could bring healing. We see healing evident in our world in miracles if we open our eyes. We experience healing in the sacraments of the Church. We see healing answered so often in the prayer of the Church.
Today’s gospel reminds us of our belief in the resurrection and the divinity and humanity of Christ. He pours out the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and gives them His authority to forgive sins — the institution of the sacrament of confession. He gives this power to His apostles and their successors down through today. St. Thomas, the apostle, wasn’t with them. He is called the doubter, although I think he gets a bad rap as all the apostles were hiding in the room in fear. But St. Thomas was somewhere, so obviously he was brave enough to go out. St. Thomas didn’t believe the testimony of the others, which we can relate with at times. I don’t want to believe because of what someone told me, but because of what I have experienced. We should believe because of the testimony of so many great witnesses, but many of us doubt until we experience it ourselves. The good news is that we do. We do experience the resurrection. We do see with our own eyes. We do experience the healing wounds of Christ — His heart poured out to us is healing. See His resurrected wounds and experience their healing in the sacraments and hold onto that experience for those moments of doubt. Keep them always alive in your heart and faith and believe in Him.
Like St. Thomas we echo those words I have taken as my priestly motto for my personal crest, “My Lord and My God.” See His wounds. Experience His wounds and their healing. Cry out your witness of Christ that He is your Lord and your God. Blessed are those who haven’t seen and believe, but then bring them to come and see the Lord and experience His resurrection and Divine Mercy here waiting for them.
As we search for a new principal, I would ask that you please pray for that search. It’s the most important part of the search that you pray that the Lord sends us the right person, and that we hire the best person He sends. That is so often forgotten in big decisions like this to pray for the process. Please remember this intention in your prayers until the announcement of a hire!
-Rev. Steven Arisman