FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK:

My Dear Parishioners,
 
Doubting Thomas- what a wonderful Gospel to have for Divine Mercy Sunday. Thomas the Apostle is so much like many of us. Many can believe in Jesus just so far, and then their rationality takes over. They try to fit Jesus into the confines of human knowledge. How could He rise from the dead? How could he come into the locked room? How could he forgive my sins and open the gates of heaven for me, a sinner? Jesus did all of these things. 
 
The Church designates today as a special day to recognize and seek God’s mercy. It is also a day to do our best to imitate that mercy by showing kindness to others. This day was chosen as the day to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday because of its closeness to Easter, the feast that completes the reconciliation of mankind with God. A week after Easter, we can step back in awe and look at the wonders of God’s mercy, demonstrated so dramatically in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. 
 
St. John Paul II instituted this Solemnity in 2000. He was responding to a request Jesus made in the 1930’s to a humble Polish nun, who is known as Saint Faustina. Jesus asked Faustina to spread the message of God’s mercy throughout the world. He asked that a special day be set aside as the Feast of Divine Mercy. Not only are the readings for today’s Mass focused on the grace, generosity and love of God, but also on how that mercy can be shown through the actions of those who follow Jesus, the Son of God. Today, the Church also offers a plenary indulgence to those who receive the Sacrament of Penance, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the intention of the Holy Father. To receive this indulgence, which wipes clean our souls of all sin and any punishment due for our past sins, we are to recite the Our Father, the Creed, and pray: Merciful Jesus, I trust in you! 
 
In granting this indulgence, the Vatican issued a decree encouraging all people to observe this day with intense devotion. It said that the Holy Father enriched the day by a plenary indulgence so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. It went on to say that, In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor. It concluded by encouraging the faithful to show love and mercy to others. It said, after they – the faithful – have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their sisters and brothers. 
 
This indulgence is not to be taken lightly. It is a gift of immense value and is more evidence of God’s great mercy. As we reflect on the wondrous gift of mercy God gives us, let today be a day of great rejoicing. 
 
Let us exclaim with the Psalmist, God’s mercy endures forever.
 
All the Blessings of the Risen Lord,
Msgr. Maresca