Happy Easter!

Have faith in Jesus. Love. Be not afraid. May what Jesus suffered to save you assure you of the Heart of your God.

Here is truly good news, explosive news, life-changing news.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

Couldn’t make it to every part of the Triduum liturgy?

Want to watch a powerful moment again? You can view all of our Holy Week homilies, recordings, and pictures below.

“Do this in memory of Me”
Father Don speaks about memories and tradition, he shows us why they are important and why we celebrate what has been handed to us for 2,000 years without fail. Recognizing in the words “𝑇𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠, 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝐼𝑆 𝑚𝑦 𝑏𝑜𝑑𝑦 (𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑑), 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑢𝑝 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢” is the sublime gifts Jesus left us; the gift of the priesthood, the gift of the Eucharist, and the example of His Love.
Holy Thursday Liturgy
Holy Thursday in pictures

How Do We Make Meaning Out of Suffering?
Father Don speaks on where is the meaning in our suffering, in the pains that we endure, and how we can endure our suffering in light of Jesus’ suffering during the passion, and the violent death by crucifixion of Jesus on “Good” Friday.
Good Friday Liturgy
Good Friday in pictures

Easter Changes Everything
At the culmination of the Easter Triduum is the Easter Vigil & Resurrection Sunday, Father Don speaks to why our lives have never been the same since that Easter morning 2,000 years ago and why it is that when we die, it’s not the really the end for us.
Easter Vigil Liturgy
Holy Saturday Easter Basket Blessing in pictures

Behind Every “No”
Uncertainty is an unpleasant thing, and yet it IS certain that there are many “No’s” in the Catholic Church. Jesus has a “Yes” to offer us this Easter, and every time we celebrate the resurrection. Hopefully, we don’t have to land in the hospital like Fr James to more fully embrace this Source and Summit of our faith!
Easter Sunday Liturgy

What now? …. Catholics definitely know how to feast!

Did you know that the Easter season lasts for 50 days and it begins with the “Easter Octave.”  The Easter Octave starts Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday with every day in between being a “little Easter”.  Here are suggestions to celebrate the Octave of Easter and these Easter days and a reflection to guide you.

  • Attend daily Mass or read the “propers” for each day’s Mass at home.  The Propers of the Mass are liturgical texts that vary from day to day according to the calendar: the Introit, the Gradual, the Responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia Verse, the Offertory Chant, and the Communion Antiphon.
  • Feast daily!  Visit or go out with that friend you haven’t seen in a while. Go for that extra ice-cream scoop these are celebratory days.  Rejoice and be glad, for Our Lord is risen!
  • Visit the sick and homebound and share the joy of Christ.
  • Read “Paschal Tide” from  Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year
  • Watch “The Stations of the Resurrection” Via Lucis on FORMED or on the Amen App.
  • Live these Easter days like the Apostles did, sign up for the Bible Study on Acts of the Apostles that starts on Monday 4/25th.
  • Attend the Feast of Divine Mercy on Sunday, April 24th at 2pm.
  • Take part in any of the gatherings and offerings that Our Lady of Mercy has below (scroll down).
  • Limit screen time and make more time for prayer.
  • Spread the joy of Easter: chalk your sidewalk, decorate your front yard, and put up our Our Lady of Mercy Easter graphic in your home windows or share on social media.
  • Use the traditional Easter greeting in your interactions with others during this day (one person says “He is risen” and the other person responds “He has truly risen!”) 
 * Decorate your home with streamers and flowers and anything else that makes it festive.
  • Spend some time reading the Resurrection accounts from all four Gospels (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-9; John 20:1-10)
  • Pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
  • Reflect on the “Easter Sequence.” This is an ancient poem describing the joys of Easter morning which is proclaimed before the Gospel on Easter day. Praying with this could be a beautiful way to begin each morning of this Easter week. He is truly risen! Check out “Sequence, Victimae paschali laudes” on YouTube to hear a beautiful chant like this one https://youtu.be/Vfcp19WpXxU

When Easter joy bursts upon us, we might well think of this great feast as a triumphant conclusion. Lenten penances are over, and somber liturgy is replaced by joyful celebration as the ‘Gloria’ once again sounds and the light of Easter Vigil candles is passed from person to person.  The Easter liturgy speaks gloriously of fulfillment, proclaiming that Jesus’ suffering is past and His sacrifice as the Lamb of God redeems our sins.  Our ancient enemy, death, was arrested and our true life has begun.

Even the created world testifies that “Lo, the winter is past!” (cf. Song 2:11). Fourth century Byzantine church father Saint John Chrysostom acknowledged this harmony, connecting the resurrection and the new “roses, violets, and other flowers” as mutually reinforcing signs of God’s ever-renewing love.

Yet the readings for the Easter season demonstrate that instead of inviting Jesus’ followers to relax into a sense of completion, the original Easter Sunday confronted them with a serious, “Okay, what now?” moment.  The resurrection shook pre-existing conditions and assumptions and comfortable paradigms, so it’s no wonder that Jesus’ followers initially responded with doubt and fear, confusion and debate.  How could this be true? What did it mean? How were they to live their lives now? With whom were they supposed to share this good news?  (To experience this in your own way, we encourage you to take part in the “Acts of the Apostles” Bible Study.)

More than 2,ooo years later, we have the wisdom of saints, theologians, mystics, and teachers to inform our faith.  But all who seek to live the Easter mystery today will find the same timeless questions.  Jesus still asks each of us to this very day, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:20), and we still entreat, “What are we to do….?” (Acts 2:37).  Fears, doubts, and trials haven’t disappeared-in point of fact, these days have become more perilous for people.  Fear, stress, anxiety have been at its highest and are on a continual rise.  These days we live in offer new challenges which resonate with those the apostles faced in their time.

The Easter readings take us right into the heart of the ever-evolving process of becoming true disciples. Their narrative covers about 30 years, beginning with the resurrection, through the forty days when Jesus appeared to the apostles, to His ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, through the earliest persecutions and martyrdoms, to Paul’s conversion and missionary journeys, and ending with Paul’s house arrest in Rome around 60 CE. That is A LOT of church history to grasp in just a few weeks!

Yet… the sheer reality of these events and the perennial relevance of the readings’ themes draw us in, inviting us to claim kinship with Saints Peter, Stephen, Paul, and others as we marvel at their incredible fortitude and braveness. As we walk this sacred path in our imaginations each spring (Holy Week – Easter days), we’re encouraged to grow a little wiser every year, to consider ever-more-deeply the key questions about calling, about forgiveness and grace, about community with one another and relationship with our trinitarian God, about persistence and courage, and about the calling to be sent out on mission.

We pray these suggestions will enhance this year’s Easter journey for you, helping you use this precious season as a time not just for rejoicing but also for exploration, opening, and renewed commitment to your own apostolic calling.

A very Happy & Blessed Easter to you and your loved ones!  We rejoice with great joy at Jesus’ victory over sin and death: His victory is our victory. We have hope and joy in our lives because of the wonder of Christ’s love conquering our sin and His life overcoming our death. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

 

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