We have just celebrated the Easter festivities, now what?

04-08-2018Weekly Bulletin LetterFr. Robert Seraph Aliunzi, AJ

Like everywhere else in the Catholic Church, I believe Easter was a great celebration here at our own St. Andrew the Apostle Parish for all of us. I have received a lot of positive feedback from many of you confirming this. On a purely human level and as your pastor, I was edified to see our scheduled Masses all well attended and even overflowing both in the Church and in the tent. As I made the remark at one of the Masses, I desire to see our Church always packed to capacity at all times not just so as to feel good, but because what we come to celebrate is an event of great magnitude – the Love of our God manifested visibly in our Lord Jesus Christ born a human being like us, suffered, died, was buried and rose from the dead! It is His resurrection which we are celebrating during this season and which gives all of us hope even in suffering and death that the end result will be eternal life for us if we believe and remain faithful to Him. Because He is truly raised, all of us must have a reason to look forward to our own joyful and glorious resurrection in eternity.

It is the recognition of the eternal nature of what we celebrate each time we come to Holy Mass which should always attract us over and above the mundane attractions we are drawn to constantly. This is because it is here that we encounter the risen Lord; body, soul, and divinity. This is what we have just successfully celebrated at the Easter Festivities; now what? Now is the time to keep the fire of the Lord’s resurrection burning in our own hearts and in our great parish, and also invite our friends and loved ones to join in this eternal celebration just as you probably did on Easter. Let us always keep in mind that the Lord keeps on manifesting His unfathomable love and mercy for us at all times- even at our own time.

This weekend, for instance, we celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday as such a manifestation of God’s love for us. The message of Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us - all of us - without exception. And, He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. This is what we should all take advantage of, especially during this extraordinary year of mercy.

The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy that we celebrate today is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread. In summary, the message asks us to:

  • Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
  • Be Merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us including especially those we find difficult to forgive.
  • Completely Trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent on our trust and confidence in His son.

I, therefore, ask all of you to spend some time to learn more about the mercy of our God, learn to trust in Jesus, and live your life and be merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you. This is how we can continue to celebrate the joy of the resurrection of our Lord and His mercy in a more practical and meaningful way.

In Christ,

Fr. Robert