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Jesus Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Indeed, he has risen! Alleluia!

Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death by his crucifixion and rising from the dead! God the Son could not die, but he united his divine nature to our human nature and so was able to die in order to pay the price for our sins and become the fountain of sal-vation for those who repent of their sins, practice the Catholic Christian faith and die in the state of grace. Jesus Christ’s Paschal Mystery, that is, his suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven has won for his faithful people the promise of Eternal Life with God and all his saints.

Because of this amazing gift, the Church celebrates Easter for eight days, known as the Easter Octave, which ends next Sunday, now called “Divine Mercy Sunday.” Each day throughout the Octave is considered a Solemnity and the “Gloria” is said at each Holy Mass, and the dismissal is chanted: “Go in peace, Alleluia, Alleluia.” And the people chant in response, “Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia,” just like on Easter Vigil/Sunday.

Jesus’ mission of salvation continues through his priests and faithful people who orient their lives to glorify God and his way of holiness. He has raised up saints to remind us how to live fervently his divine truth, love and mercy. Saints are ordinary people who dispose themselves to God’s divine grace, and upon receiving this sanctifying grace at baptism and the other sacraments, they follow Christ with extraordinary love, serving the mission of the Church and others within their appropriate vocation.

One example is the life of Faustina Kowalska who was born of a Polish peasant family in 1905. She was prayerful as a young girl, and this disposed her to hear God’s call to the religious life as a contemplative sister. She was inspired to go to the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She received the habit on April 30, 1926. In the convent she received many visions of Jesus Christ, and she began to record them in her diary as the Lord instructed. She received the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (which is prayed after 8:00 a.m. Monday Mass at St. Mary) and was asked by our Lord Jesus to paint the vision of Divine Mercy. On the Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet brochure (found near the entrance of each of our churches) you can see an image of that painting.

Sister Faustina died October 5, 1938, after living the Christian faith heroically, even amid rapidly declining health and being misunderstood by some of her sisters. Many miracles were attributed to her,

and she was beatified on the Second Sun-day of Easter, 1993.

Then another miracle occurred and was verified by the Church, and she was canonized in Rome, April 30, 2000, by Pope John Paul II, on Divine Mercy Sun-day. A special grace is attached to the Second Sunday of Easter, which is now called Divine Mercy Sunday. If one were to make a valid confession on that day, a plenary indulgence would be granted to you. That is why I will be hearing confessions on Sunday, April 7, St. Columbkill from 11:45AM to 12:15PM. Another opportunity is at St. Michael in Pine Island, 2:00-4:00PM.

The following is from St. Maria Faustina’s diary, which has been reviewed by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and found to be doctrinally without error:

The Lord Jesus said to her, “Encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given you… Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. …Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if they were a sinner most hardened…

My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them, and it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I will dwell in the tabernacles as King of Mercy.”

Copies of the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be found at the church entrances.

Devotions such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary help dispose us to the sacraments which are sure signs and channels of God’s divine life of grace, such as the sacraments of Holy Confession and Holy Communion. At each Holy Mass (but especially on Sundays which are obligatory Solemnities) we celebrate Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Attentively participating at Mass, especially in the state of grace, where we offer our lives: time, talent, treasure, and good works is the best way to build up God’s Kingdom on earth and grow our place in heaven for all eternity!

May you and your family have a BLESSED EASTER SEASON!

Peace in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe


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