I am happy to use this column to update you on our "Living our Faith Building our Future" project. Latest estimates brought our project in over budget. And, so the architects, Kamal and Walsh, are in touch with the builder, Chris. R. Sheridan, trying to find ways to reduce the cost of the project while at the same time retaining as much of the original plan as possible. You know how this works; you have a budget and you try and stretch your finances as far as they will go.
Take note of two things in this Gospel: Thomas did not "see" the risen Christ because he was not with the community of disciples on the first day of the week. The "first day of the week" is code for Sunday Eucharist. By that time John's Gospel was written; the church had been celebrating Mass for almost three generations. Thomas did not see the Risen Christ because he was not at Sunday Mass. You see the Risen Christ, for John's, gathered in the Eucharist.
Bulletin Article for 12 Apr 15
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday! The Sunday after Easter has been officially recognized as Divine Mercy Sunday for fifteen years now. This great feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was given to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. Jesus chose Sr. Faustina as his apostle and secretary to tell the world his great message of mercy. He told her, "In the Old Covenant, I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart" (Diary of St. Faustina 1588).
Pope Francis seems to me to be another apostle of God's great Mercy! He reminds us frequently about the great love and mercy of our Lord and tells us to continually seek forgiveness for our sins. He reminds us that the Lord never tires of forgiving us; it is us who get tired of asking for forgiveness.
Divine Mercy Sunday is a day set apart by the universal Church when we can gain special forgiveness for our sins. Pope John Paul II declared that "a plenary indulgence, be granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!" (APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARY DECREE on Indulgences attached to devotions in honour of Divine Mercy)
It is not an accident that we keep hearing about this idea of God's mercy! Jesus WANTS to grant us his mercy, but we have to ask for it. Ask for His Mercy today!
God Bless you,
I am a witness to Christ Risen, I am a witness that Jesus has risen from the dead and his Spirit fills the earth. What, you ask, have you had a special revelation; has he appeared to you? No, I am not a witness in that miraculous sense. I mean that I am a witness by my life: Not so much by how I dress, clerical clothes, how I live, unmarried, celibate. But both of these are external things. Rather, I too have sought the mystery whose love makes all things new, who alone gives meaning to life and death.
If Christ is not risen then our faith is in vain and we are still in our sins", so writes St. Paul. What we celebrate today brings hope to the heart of every believer. God did not leave us to our own devices but raised His only Son as the first born of many brothers and sisters.