As Catholics we should be experts in celebration. With the season of Lent we are comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. We know we should be doing something different, something extra to detach ourselves from ourselves and make more space for prayer, for our relationship with Jesus Christ to take hold over us. Then the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil rolls around, all of which I might add, had an abundance of beauty this year as they were hosted right here in our beloved church of Our Lady of the Rosary, and we get that this is something truly special happening before us. With Easter comes new life, not just one day of collecting eggs and singing again alleluia, but this whole week and even today are all considered as much Easter as was last Sunday. We call this the Easter Octave for the 8 days of consecutive celebration. We should mark out this time with some intentional way of making it different. That is why most of the week I wore my plaid pastel colored Easter pants and my Jesus sandals made entirely out of rope because the Resurrection deserves this and so much more. With celebration comes transformation. Even our space is strikingly different from 40 days of bare bones to now this flowing fountain and menagerie of flowers that smell and look so beautiful. We see change all around us, but the question do we see any real change within us?
Our experience of Easter should be one that changes our lives. We heard in the Acts of the Apostles, that with one heart and mind the community of believers that followed Jesus and knew Him in His resurrection bore witness to this glorious mystery with great power and more came to believe.
DCI>>>>5 came into the church…3 new women
—all of us should be animated by what we witness here to the extent that we can’t help but more to know the good news which is summed up by St. John as he wrote, “Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world and the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” This faith that we profess and celebrate together is the key to a life of fullness, the key to freedom.
Yet, all of us can act more like Thomas then we care to admit. Our faith can be limited or determined by what we see or more often by what we don’t see when we want to see it. This is where the great gift of this Sunday, a celebration set apart for Divine Mercy gives us another chance on faith. Here we live the Easter octave with the hope of elevating our trust in the Lord. As the image of St. Faustina so appropriately gives us the one liner of “Jesus, I trust in you” and we like Thomas have the opportunity to place our cares—our concerns in the side of the pierced one and say MY LORD AND MY GOD. The resurrected Jesus wants to bless us with faith when we trust without needing to see the results of our prayers but are simply content with having HIM. This is what it is to celebrate well, this is how we know we are changed when Jesus is enough for us.
My brothers and sisters as we immerse ourselves in the blood and water that pours forth from the heart of Christ today, we receive that heart into us in the Eucharist, when we say AMEN, we are saying I DO BELIEVE, Jesus I believe this is your body and your blood, may we receive His mercy and hear his blessing, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Sunday after Sunday this is the great celebration of our faith.