WITH ST. MARY'S
THE SECOND SUNDAY IN EASTER
Your doubts cannot overcome God's desire to work through you.
SECOND SUNDAY IN EASTER
Being followers of Christ empowers us to emulate Christ in our interactions with others. If we consider the history of Christianity, this becomes plain to see. Christianity began on the cross, and was fully realized three days later when Christ rose from the dead. However, he only spent an additional forty days on earth, not to merely continue what he had already been doing during his public ministry, but to strengthen his followers and instruct them on how to properly continue his work after his ascension. Now is the time for us to take the gift of God's mercy in the Resurrection, and to transform it into a vehicle by which we cast out doubt and fear and grow the Kingdom of God.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
The first 12 chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, which is the second part of Luke’s Gospel, follows the very beginning of this Church. It is obvious that Peter has taken the place of Christ as someone who can do miraculous things and who the others follow. But Peter never views his power as his own; rather, he always speaks of it being from Christ, who even in his public ministry would always speak about doing the will of his Father. Modeling ourselves after the people who Christ chose and surrounding ourselves with people who have chosen Christ can give us a better understanding of who we are as human beings. God called weak and sinful people to leave their old lives behind them so that He could work through them to make them new. Their weaknesses continued to reveal themselves when they doubted, as we hear in today’s Gospel regarding Thomas, or when they feared what would happen to them, as we hear in the first reading regarding those who were still too afraid to follow the Apostles. All of the people who gave themselves completely over to God who we hear about in today’s readings, such as Peter, John, and Thomas, suffered and most eventually died due to their faithfulness. But if we look at those who follow Christ today, those who have not seen but still believe, we can see the work of the Apostles living on. Although doubt and fear may still creep in, Christians ultimately place their trust in their Lord and their God. If you are allowing doubt and fear to prevent you from chasing after God, see the hope in those who have. God works through them, and God wants to work through you, as well. Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday. The most faithful Christians were only able to fully access their potential by being fully aware of the mercy of God. It was God’s mercy that He sent His only Son to die for us. It was through God’s mercy that Jesus instructed us on our behavior and our humanity. It is God’s mercy that we can leave a life of sin and death behind in order to live up to something more meaningful. The minute we begin to allow doubt and fear to take priority, we lose sight of God’s mercy. But this is the beauty of Christianity: with Mercy as the means by which we access God, it is open to us at any time to leave behind our doubt and leave behind our fear and open ourselves completely to God.
Family activity to do at home: The celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, the culmination of the Divine Mercy novena which began on Good Friday, offers to its adherents a plenary indulgence; this is a major opportunity for us to utilize the gifts that God offers to the Church through devotions such as these. By attending on this specific day the sacrament of confession, receiving the Eucharist, and praying for the Pope, all temporal punishment for your sins will be removed. See the explanation below on the official Church decree and the promulgation of the plenary indulgence of Divine Mercy.