By Jennifer Brinker | email@example.com | twitter: @jenniferbrinker
The feast of Divine Mercy, or Divine Mercy Sunday, is observed on the octave of Easter and celebrates the fullness of Christ's Resurrection. This year, the feast will be celebrated April 23.
The feast was initiated by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who kept a diary in the 1930s of Christ's private revelations, telling her of His message of mercy. She wrote that she first saw a vision of Jesus on Feb. 22, 1931. He had rays of mercy streaming from His heart. Christ told her to have an image painted to represent the vision and to write below it, "Jesus, I trust in you!"
The celebrations of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday are opportunities to meditate on the many blessings God has given us. The hope of the Resurrection and the manifestation of God's infinite mercy provide each of us with strength to deal with and overcome difficulties we face.
Jesus' glorious resurrection from the dead at first sparked hope and courage in only a few disciples. But that spark has since been fanned into a vigorous strength because Christ is alive in all of us. He is the world's only Savior. He continues to stand over all human history. He makes our history salvation history.
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the breath of life. This first gift foreshadowed the gift of the Holy Spirit — the very breath of God — at Pentecost, which gave the apostles Christ's own life.
When God saw the wickedness of the earth in the time of Noah, He washed away its sins with the flood. The Old Testament flood foreshadowed baptism, which washes original sin from our body and soul.
Holy Week begins the greatest week of the liturgical year. As we enter more deeply into His passion and death, we discover Jesus entering our passion, our struggle with sin, weaknesses and inconsistencies. There's no doubt that Christ suffers much in our lives, gradually conquering our rebellious nature with the same love that led Him through His passion.
By Junno Arocho Esteves | Catholic News Service | twitter:@arochoju
VATICAN CITY — Like the people of Israel freed from the bondage of slavery, Christians are called to experience the path toward hope and new life in the Lenten season, Pope Francis said.
Through His passion, death and resurrection, Jesus "has opened up for us a way that leads to a full, eternal and blessed life," the pope said at his weekly general audience March 1, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent for Latin-rite Catholics.
"Lent lives within this dynamic: Christ precedes us with His exodus and we cross the desert, thanks to Him and behind Him," he said.
The readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time suggest there is no limit to our participation in Godliness. The first reading states: "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." That's our open invitation to allow God to possess us with His holiness. He doesn't limit our participation in His goodness.