The Church celebrates Easter for fifty days, from Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday, but observes the Octave of Easter (octave means eight – from Easter Sunday through Second Sunday of Easter) 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.” On this very Sunday twenty-two years ago, in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Saint Pope John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina Kowalska as the first saint canonized in the New Millennium. It was through Saint Faustina that Jesus encouraged this special devotion in which we meditate on the Divine Mercy of the Lord. Special Divine Mercy devotions are scheduled today (Sunday) at Sacred Heart Church, Nekoosa.
We welcome Bishop William P. Callahan to SSPP this weekend, as he confers the Sacrament of Confirmation on the young people of our parish and of all the parishes of the WI Rapids Deanery. May the newly Confirmed be strengthened and sealed with the Holy Spirit to be ever more faithful disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
May God bless you!