On this 2nd Sunday of Easter we have much to celebrate and rejoice over. I will speak briefly on the Octave of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday and the Beatification of the Blessed John Paul the Great. The Octave of Easter has been an eight day celebration of the single day of Easter. In the Gospel, when you hear that
HE SHOWED THEM HIS HANDS AND HIS SIDE you see and hear that Jesus mocked Death: It was He who descended to the abode of the dead and who tore down the gates of hell; it was He who bound the strong man and plundered his house; it was He who led a whole host in victory and who opened once again to humanity the Gates of Heaven! Death is fettered in chains, it is abolished, slain and destroyed. Oh risen Savior, dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life! Today, like then, when
HE CAME WHERE THE DISCIPLES WERE FOR FEAR . . . He comes to you in your place of fear: Are you afraid of suffering? Christ also suffered for you (1 Pt 2:21). Are you afraid of being rejected? He was despised and rejected by men (Is 53:3). Are you afraid of dying? He already has and We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him! (Rom 6:9) and so do not be afraid. On this Divine Mercy Sunday you see and hear that Jesus said
WHOSE SINS YOU FORGIVE ARE FORGIVEN THEM Jesus broke forever the stranglehold that sin had over the human race. Because of sin you were lost, alienated, strangers, without hope and without God (Eph 2:12). But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our sins brought us to life with Christ (Eph 2:4). Jesus said to St. Faustina, That day the very depths of my tender mercy is open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the font of mercy. The unfathomable wellspring of mercy and the fountainhead of God’s love is open to you today! On this day of the Beatification of the Blessed John Paul the Great how fitting these words from today’s Gospel:
THE DOORS WERE LOCKED . . . JESUS CAME AND STOOD IN THEIR MIDST.
There is no stone so heavy that can keep Him in the tomb. Do not for a moment think that when Christ rose from dead he had to lean against the stone and struggle to push it aside. NO! The angel moved it so the women and the disciples could look inside! His risen body passed through the tomb just as it passed through those closed doors. There is no door so locked that can keep Him out. No door except one, the door to your heart. When he died, John Paul the Great had sat on Peter’s Chair for half my life. He is my hero! Beginning and throughout his pontificate he proclaimed these words: Open wide the doors for Christ! On this wonderful Octave of Easter, on this Mercy Sunday, on this beatification day of Blessed John Paul II, may every one of you
Open wide the doors for Christ!