The Church celebrates Easter for fifty days (from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday inclusive), but observes the Octave of Easter (octave means eight), from Easter Sunday through Second Sunday of Easter inclusive, with particular solemnity. This always serves as a great contrast to the secular society which (as it does with Christmas) throws away all reminders of the Feast the following day. Make sure you continue to make the Easter Season a festive time of celebrating our Savior’s Resurrection. I look forward each year to the Sunday following Easter because of the beautiful Gospel account from St. John. The story of ‘Doubting Thomas’ is recorded for our benefit, so that his doubt – satisfied by the appearance of the Risen Lord – might be the means of strengthening our faith. Do you sometimes doubt certain doctrines of our Faith? Or do you even doubt, from time to time, the existence of God? Then you need to ask for the intercession of St. Thomas! His simple profession of faith, “My Lord and my God”, is one each one of us should utter often. This is especially true when we gaze upon the Lord in the Eucharist during Mass (when the Priest elevates the Host, and then the Chalice containing the Precious Blood, during the Eucharistic Prayer).
Today is also observed as “Divine Mercy Sunday.” Sister Faustina Kowalska, to whom the Lord Jesus mystically appeared, was canonized 20 years ago on this Sunday by Pope John Paul II in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square in Rome – the first saint canonized in the New Millennium. And six years ago Pope Francis canonized John Paul II! This is a great day to reflect upon the mercy of God, which Saint Faustina and Saint John Paul II both fostered in their lives. Because we are still in “shut down” mode, we are not able to have any public special Divine Mercy devotions in any of our churches. I recommend that you and your family pray the Diving Mercy Chaplet today (Sunday) at 3pm in your own home.
May the Lord bless you and your family today and throughout this Holy Easter Season!!
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller