Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
You would expect someone coming back from the dead to say something reassuring such as, “Do not be afraid.” Nope, not this time.
In this Sunday’s gospel, the disciples were hiding behind locked doors out of fear. Jesus risen from the dead appears to them and says not once, not twice, but three times, “Peace be with you!”
The Sunday after Easter Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. The image of Jesus clothed in a white garment, his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand over his heart, from where two large rays came forth, one red and the other white, is how the Lord appeared to Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska in a vision in 1931. This image with the lettering, “Jesus, I trust in you,” is popularly known as the Divine Mercy.
Sister Faustina asked the Lord about the meaning of the rays. “The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.”
What drives out fear is faith in the one whose blood and water poured from his side as he hung upon the cross for our sake. He has won the victory over sin and death. This is our faith.
You don’t have to live in fear behind locked doors. If you don’t have one already, get an image of the Divine Mercy. Carry it with you as you start at your front door. Pass through your home sprinkling holy water. Invite the Lord into the many rooms of your life:
Invite the Lord into your family room. “Jesus I trust you with my family.”
Invite the Lord into your bedroom. “Jesus I trust you with my marriage.”
Invite the Lord into your kids’ bedrooms. “Jesus I trust you with my kids.”
Invite the Lord into your home office. “Jesus I trust you with my work and money and retirement.”
Invite the Lord into your kitchen. “Jesus I trust you with our groceries and daily bread.”
Invite the Lord into your garage. “Jesus I trust you with my car, my tools and my toys.”
Invite the Lord into your bathroom! “Jesus I trust you with my health and how I look.”
The fruit of faith is peace. As noted earlier, Jesus appeared to his disciples in the locked upper room. Three times he said, “Peace be with you.” He breathed his spirit upon them. “As the father has sent me, so I send you.” The disciples were transformed from a fearful flock to faith-filled apostles. They received the Holy Spirit, and, with him, the power to give God’s pardon and peace.
We say the same words before receiving communion. “Peace be with you,” we proclaim, and the other responds, “And with your spirit.” More than a greeting, it is a proclamation. You are passing along the words that Jesus, risen in peace, gave to the church. The peace that the world cannot give is ours to give because He is risen. The fruit of faith in the risen Christ is his peace.
Many offer words to calm fears about the pandemic, such as, “We’ll be alright. We’ll get through this.” We can do better than this. With faith, we say, “We ARE alright. For our sake, Christ has suffered death. He is risen.”
Bring a rosary to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. This Sunday immediately after the 7:30 a.m. Mass and 9:30 a.m. Mass, all are welcome to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It takes about 20 minutes. We will have worship aids. There will be a time of prayer from 3pm to 4pm in the church on Divine Mercy Sunday.
The next Alpha evening is Tuesday, April 13. We start the evening with dinner (delicious and free!) followed by a video on this week’s topic, “Who is Jesus?” The second half of the evening is talking in tables about the topic. About forty folks came to the April 6 gathering. If you missed April 6, come anyway. No commitment, just come and see. No sign up, just show up. Bring your wingman, 6:30-8:30pm in the Parish Center. Check out a 3-minute video at
The Catholic bishops along the border of the United States and Northern Mexico have issued a joint statement on the situation at the border of the two countries. Inform your conscience with their comments.
Sunday Worship Aid
How can we pray for you?
Nativity Longwood .
on Thursday, April 8 at 2:00PM