Peace and all Good!
Today is the Second of Easter and also established by St. John Paul II as Divine Mercy Sunday. In the readings for today’s Mass, fear is contrasted with confidence. John’s confidence comes from his encounter with the Risen Jesus in today’s Gospel. This encounter carried the greeting, “Peace be with you.” Now this greeting is more than just a wish or a hope. It is a statement. It does not mean “may peace be with you.” It means “peace is with you.” And because of this the apostles rejoice! Jesus provides strength for them and now they have confidence that Jesus’ peace will abide with them. They will now have courage to face any fears life may present. Even though Thomas initially doubted the word of the other apostles, he made the greatest act of faith when he himself witnessed the Risen Christ: “My Lord and My God!” We all face encounters, events and people that can create distress and leave us fearful. But, Thomas, John, Peter and the other disciples teach us today that Jesus came to liberate us from our spiritual and emotional prisons of fear. Truly, today we celebrate Divine Mercy. Jesus’ desire for us to enjoy his peace is echoed in his words when he told Sister Faustina, in one of his appearances to her: “My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for my kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone.” (Diary 1488)
This Sunday we joyfully welcome several brothers and sisters from other Christian denominations as they make a Profession of Faith in the Catholic Church and receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist! How blessed we are to have new members to our community! In Franciscan hospitality, we will honor them this morning after the 10:00 a.m. Mass in the Serra Gardens. Please come share in some refreshments and greet our newest Catholic Christians! Congratulations and God’s blessings! As was announced in the bulletin last weekend on Easter Sunday, there will be a special offering taken up today to take care of the “finishing touches” of our beautifully renovated St. Francis Hall. Please be as generous as you can so that we can truly enjoy a beautiful gathering space for many parish activities and events for many years to come! Indeed, your generosity will benefit the life of this parish for many years to come! Thank you again!