Divine Mercy Sunday


Dear Friends,

I’m sure that all of us noticed a much larger number of people attending the Holy Week services here at St. Matthias. The Easter Vigil was exceptionally crowded – in comparison to the previous years. Why do more people attend church? According to a new Public Religion Research Institute survey on American religion, 90% of those polled cited a desire to feel closer to God as their explanation for attending church. Other common explanations include to experience religion in a community (80%) or to instill religious values in young people (79%). No matter what, it was very gratifying to see so many of our people present at the Church services in person. We continue to pray that the new life and new hope from the Risen Christ will bring more blessings and a greater awareness of the need for God in our life.

Easter is such a foundational feast of our faith, that the Church continues to celebrate it for about seven weeks. The power of Easter has transformed the face of the earth as believers began to increase and Christianity began to spread all over the world. It is unbelievable but true that after the preaching of Peter: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.” (Acts 2:41). Besides the preaching of the apostles, the early Christians themselves were the best missionaries to their own neighbors and friends, sharing the power of the Resurrected Jesus to bring about change of hearts. It continues to happen in our own times.

The importance of Easter is highlighted by our church’s instructions to celebrate Easter Sunday as one long period of eight days or Octave. The Universal Norms # 22 says: The first eight days of Easter season make up the octave of Easter and are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord. The days of the Octave form the “early hours” of this “great Sunday,” with accounts of the Lord who rose early in the morning, and the early preaching of the disciples who were witnesses to his resurrection.

Today, the eighth day of Easter, is Divine Mercy Sunday – a feast instituted by St. John Paul II, to realize the depth of the mercy of God for each one of us personally. Sister Faustina who had revelations about this desire from Jesus wrote the words of Jesus in her diary entry # 206: “On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy.  I shall heal and strengthen them”. People all over the world, including our parishioners, began the Divine Mercy Novena on March 29. Today after the 10 am Mass, there will be a Divine Mercy celebration with praying the Rosary in our Church.

May the Risen Lord help us experience God’s mercy in ourselves and may He help us to offer the same mercy to others, thereby becoming true witnesses who will attract others to our church and our faith in Jesus Christ.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal