24 Apr Third Sunday of Easter
“Tonight we acquire a fundamental right that can never be taken away from us: the right to hope. It is a new and living hope that comes from God. It is not mere optimism; it is not a pat on the back or an empty word of encouragement, with a passing smile. No. It is a gift from heaven, which we could not have earned on our own. Over these weeks, we have kept repeating, “All will be well”, clinging to the beauty of our humanity and allowing words of encouragement to rise up from our hearts. But as the days go by and fears grow, even the boldest hope can dissipate. Jesus’ hope is different. He plants in our hearts the conviction that God is able to make everything work unto good, because even from the grave he brings life.” -Pope Francis
FROM YOUR PASTOR
Where do we find HOPE in a PANDEMIC WORLD?
During Lent, we talked about adopting Lenten Practices as a Way Of Life on Easter Monday.
On Divine Mercy Sunday, Saint Faustina punctuates why that new Way Of Life is essential — because of the GIFT OF THE CROSS…the GIFT OF OUR NEW LIFE on Easter Monday through the Death of Jesus on Good Friday.
She gives us a glimpse into the Font of Divine Mercy from which flow the Waters Of Baptism and the Blood Of The Cross – – purifying us and sanctifying us in our Successes and our Failures, in times of Plenty and in times of Distress, and in the Company of Others and during Shelter in Place.
Saint Faustina tells us, ‘O My God, my only hope, I have placed all my hope in You, and I know I shall not be disappointed (Diary, 317).’ Saint Faustina goes on to describe this HOPE: ‘…our only hope in all the sufferings and adversities of life…our only hope in the midst of darkness and of storms within and without…our only hope in life and at the hour of death…our only hope in the midst of adversities and floods of despair…our only hope in the longing and pain in which no one will understand us (Diary, 356). Welcome, only Hope of sinful souls (Diary, 1733).’
Sufferings, Adversity, Darkness, Storms, Life and Death, Despair, Longing, Pain, Sinful Souls — this sounds a lot like the SUFFERINGS OF THE PANDEMIC! In this time, SUFFERING THROUGH FAITH will lead to the Salvation of our Souls. Isn’t that OUR ULTIMATE HOPE…isn’t that what Jesus taught us FROM THE CROSS…isn’t that the PROMISE OF DIVINE MERCY?
Pope Francis, in his Plenary Indulgence related to the Coronavirus Pandemic, has encouraged us TO PRAY for those who have been called home by the virus, TO PRAY for their families who may not have been with them at the time of their passing and mourn their loss, TO PRAY for the technicians/doctors/nurses/emergency responders/first responders/caregivers who are ministering to those afflicted by the virus, and TO PRAY for those who are isolated by the virus.
I would suggest for us TO PRAY also for those for whom Shelter in Place could result in Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Suicide, Clinical Anxiety, and Depression.
REMEMBER…Prayer gives us Grace…and the Grace from a PRAYER FOR ANOTHER returns to you a hundredfold!
TODAY, GIVE your suffering — Spiritual, Emotional, Psychological, Physical, or Financial — to the Divine Mercy of Jesus…AND HE WILL RETURN TO YOU THE VIRTUE OF HOPE…a gift of YOUR FAITH…and given to you From The Cross through the ultimate act of HIS LOVE…
+May God Bless You and Keep You+