Happy Easter! May Easter 2021 be a season of new life immersed in our Lord Jesus.
We offer congratulations to all who have participated in the Sacraments of Initiation this weekend, including 8 Baptisms, 5 adult Confirmations and 4 First Communions. At all of the Easter Masses all of us proclaim and participate in a Renewal of our Baptismal Promises. May we experience the benefits of having a new “re-beginning” by completing this whole year-long Lent! It was a blessing to see so many people who are feeling more confident to participate in public events again.
Pope Francis offered this word of encouragement during the Wednesday Audience of Holy Week, which is a word of encouragement for all of us.
“The Risen One gives us the certainty that good always triumphs over evil, that life always overcomes death and our end is not to descend lower and lower, from sadness to sadness, but to rise above.”
And, this is in the context of our current worldwide situation. Pope Francis proclaimed, “Dear brothers and sisters, this year too we will experience the Easter celebrations in the context of the pandemic. In many situations of suffering, especially when people, families, and populations already tried by poverty, calamity or conflict suffer them, the Cross of Christ is like a beacon that indicates the port to ships still offshore in the stormy sea,” he said. “Christ’s Cross is a sign of the hope that does not disappoint; and it tells us that not even one tear, not one sigh is lost in God’s plan.”
Please note that we will plan to have Divine Mercy Sunday devotional prayers next week in the afternoon, on Sunday, April 11th at 3:00 p.m. That hour is traditionally called hour of mercy, recalling when Jesus offered his life on the Cross. However, as we see in the painting at the left side of the sanctuary at St. Benedict and near the statue of our Blessed Mother on the right side of the devotional candles area at Sts. Peter & Paul, in the depiction of the Divine Mercy of Jesus, it flows from His wounded Heart. His heart was opened on the Cross so that mercy could flow out. The devotions would include praying the Divine Mercy chaplet and having Confessions available.
We are also planning to have a gathering of our Bereavement Haven, starting at 2:30 p.m. in the Social Hall next Sunday. That group has been a helpful source of encouragement and a bridge to healing for the many who have participated in the group both from our parish and from throughout our Guernsey County community.
May the Lord help us to experience the joy of the transforming power of God’s love and mercy for us. Happy Easter!