This week, as we celebrate the Second Sunday, or the “Octave” of Easter, we celebrate two major events. The “Octave of Easter”, and “Divine Mercy Sunday.” First of all, when we celebrate both Christmas and Easter, our Church recognizes that both feasts are so large, that we simply cannot contain their celebration to a single week. So we celebrate an “Octave,” or 8 days of the feast, where each day the feast is re-celebrated. Even then it’s not the end of Easter, for in the few weeks at the end of the Easter Season we re-celebrate Holy Thursday with the feast of Corpus Christi. Today, we celebrate the end of that Octave. So with that in mind, I’d like to take a moment this weekend to say a special thanks to everyone who helped make our Holy Week go so smoothly this year. All of the Holy Week masses were beautiful, and I want to say a special thank you to everyone who helped, from the groups who travelled down to McConnellsburg for Holy Thursday, to those who came up to Dudley for the Easter Vigil. To all of the servers, lectors, eucharistic ministers, and setup help. I’m very thankful to have celebrated by first Holy Week as an administrator with all of you folks!
Also this week, we celebrate “Divine Mercy Sunday” We’re called to remember St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy of Jesus. In our world, we have to recognize just how important Mercy really is, particularly in the “year of mercy.” One of the troubles in our world, is that all too often, we don’t like to say anyone did anything wrong, especially us. We go to great lengths to “justify our actions.” When we look at Divine Mercy, we really need to stop doing that. Rather than trying to justify ourselves, we’re called to say… “Yes, I messed up and I’m sorry.” There’s something very freeing about that. We say, yes, I did wrong, and I want to do better. It takes the pressure off. It’s ok if we mess up. God will forgive us, as long as we ask him to. At it’s heart, that is Divine Mercy. We recognize that we have done wrong, and we ask God’s forgiveness. With that in mind, it’s good to ask ourselves...when was the last time I really did that, asked forgiveness for my sins? Every Saturday, we have confessions from 3pm-4pm. The door is always open. If we really do trust that God’s Divine Mercy is endless, we can have no fear of coming before him to say we’re sorry. We simply have to ask ourselves if we’re ready to recognize our own faults. It’s only when we are...and we show them to the divine physician, that they can really be healed!