Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
Please realize that we continue to celebrate the glorious Easter event--the bodily Resurrection of Jesus--right through the celebration of Pentecost (June 9, 2019). The joy of Easter cannot be contained in a single day, but the Church gives us an entire season to contemplate what Jesus' Resurrection means for us. We have a promise of eternal life, the forgiveness of sin, and a Christian hope that the world cannot give.
Sadly, the joy of Easter was diminished by the tragic events in Sri Lanka. The terror attacks that very day killing more than 300 innocent people, sadly reflects how evil continues to rear its ugly head in our world. May our prayers be with the victims and their families.
This Sunday of Divine Mercy focuses all Christians on the Divine Mercy that Jesus offers to us. According to the notebooks of St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus made the following statements about this day:
On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. (Diary of Saint Faustina, 699)
Devotion to Divine Mercy is especially associated with an image painted as Jesus wished, based on descriptions by Saint Faustina. The words that accompany the image are Jesus, I trust in Thee (Jezu, Ufam Tobie in Polish). The rays coming from Jesus' body represent the Blood and water that poured forth from the wound He suffered when pierced by the lance.
The devotion is practiced by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena to the Divine Mercy -- both of which may be prayed at any time, but especially at "The Hour of Great Mercy" -- 3:00 PM, the hour our Lord died, and in conjunction with Divine Mercy Sunday.
If you want to learn more about Divine Mercy, why not sign up for a free Formed account on your smart phone, tablet or computer? Instructions were distributed after all the Easter masses and are currently available on our parish web site (www.holyangelsnj.org). Entertaining movies, enlightening study series, inspiring talks and a selection of eBooks are available to you. There is an entire section on Divine Mercy on this app.
Since we live in a digital age, Formed is one way to reach more parishioners using their smart phones, computers, tablets or devices. It is a means to learn more about our Catholic faith and to enjoy entertainment geared to religious formation and family values. Since the account is free to you, please consider signing up and joining our online parish family. While nothing substitutes for active participation at Mass or the individual connection involved with the reception of the sacraments, there is a need for continuing Catholic education and formation that coincides with people's busy lives. Here is another way that we are trying to evangelize and to educate using current technology.
Why not give it a try?
Fr. Ed Namiotka