Pastor Letter | April 11th
Divine Mercy Sunday, 2021
Dear St. Joseph Parish Family,
everyone for all your help preparing for the Triduum and Easter liturgies! Many people really stepped up and devoted much time to help make the liturgies a success. We had ushers who volunteered to help at numerous Masses, as well as readers and servers. Many people helped to clean the church on Wednesday and others helped set up for Easter on Saturday. Others helped set up the flowers and make the church look beautiful– they spent a lot of time making sure the flowers were just right. Others set up for the Easter vigil party. Much effort went into the liturgies and I want to thank everyone for their loving care that made our liturgies as beautiful as possible. It's your efforts that make St. Joseph's a special community. Thank you to everyone!
Today, Divine Mercy Sunday, ends the Octave of Easter. Now we enter into the
, which extends for 50 days until Pentecost. From now until the Ascension of our Lord (40 days from Easter) we celebrate the time when the resurrected Christ spent time with the Apostles preparing them for the work ahead. At the Ascension, we celebrate Christ's return to His Father's side in heaven, where he currently is seated waiting until His return at the end of this world. At Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Church. At that point, the Apostles begin to fulfill the great commission – Jesus's last instructions to the Apostles:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20) That has been the mission of the Church ever since – to bring Christ's salvation to the world.
Today we celebrate the
Divine Mercy Sunday
, where we focus on God's mercy, which underlies the Church's mission – that Christ gave His life to bring us salvation. God's mercy is there for the asking, eternal life available upon request. It comes through repentance – turning away from the ways of sin and death and turning towards God's mercy, allowing His mercy to transform us into children of God. That is why Jesus gave His Body, the Church, the sacraments. The sacraments are the place where we most intensely encounter Jesus Christ. We encounter His mercy most intimately in the sacrament of confession, where His mercy is received most directly. Let us turn towards God's mercy, let us follow the path of joy and life.
on Sunday, April 11 at 8:00AM