Sunday, April 12, 2015

Divine Mercy Sunday

His Mercy grants forgiveness of all sins and punishment on Mercy Sunday for even the most hardened sinners.

During the course of Jesus' revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come." These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of  papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.
Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:
Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)
I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)
This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)
On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)
Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)
I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)
As you can see the Lord's desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public  veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.
*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.

Pope Francis: Now is the time for mercy

Pope Francis venerates the cross on Good Friday 2015. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Francis venerates the cross on Good Friday 2015. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.

.- In a world marked by suffering and fierce persecution – especially of Christians – now “is the time for mercy,” Pope Francis said, speaking at the vigil for the Feast of Divine Mercy.

Reflecting on the ongoing persecution faced by Christians, the Pope said, “our prayer is all the more intense and becomes a cry for help to the Father, who is rich in mercy, that he may sustain the faith of our many brothers and sisters who are in pain.”

For our part, we are to seek the grace of “conversion of our own hearts,” whereby we are moved “from indifference to compassion,” he added.

The pontiff made these remarks during his homily for Evening Vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica, minutes after a public proclamation of the Jubilee for Mercy in front of the Holy Door.

The Jubilee is an Extraordinary Holy Year that will open this year on Dec. 8 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and will close Nov. 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

The Pope first announced the Year of Mercy on March 13, the second anniversary of his pontifical election, during a Lenten penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Mercy is a theme that is dear to Francis, and is the central topic of his episcopal motto “miserando atque eligendo,” which he chose when ordained a bishop in 1992.

Speaking the evening before the Feast of Divine Mercy, which falls on the first Sunday after Easter, Pope Francis recalled Jesus’ words to his disciples, “Peace be with you!”

During the Easter season, he said, this concept of peace “remains the desire of so many people who suffer unprecedented violence of discrimination and death simply because they bear the name ‘Christian’.”

Regardless of life’s difficulties and sufferings, the pontiff said – citing St. Paul – the hope of salvation won for us the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection “continues to grow.”

“The mercy of God is poured out upon us, making us just and giving us peace,” he said. “This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy.”

Pope Francis explained that he declared this Jubilee of mercy because we are living at a “time of great historical change” which calls the Church “to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.”

This period in history is a time where the faithful “need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential,” he said.

“This is the time for mercy.”

The aim of Jubilee Year of Mercy is to encourage the faithful to “welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world,” the Pope continued.

These signs of God’s tenderness are especially offered to the suffering, the alone, the abandoned, and those “without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s love.”

“It is the favourable time to heal wounds,” he stressed, “a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.”

Pope Francis concluded his short address by calling on Mary to help the faithful “comprehend the task to which we have been called” during this Holy Year of Mercy, helping to experience the year “as faithful and fruitful witnesses of Christ.”

The Homily For Today

How marvellous was the living faith of the early Church Christians once they knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that He had resurrected from the dead! Once Jesus had resurrected by the grace of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, it did not take Him very long to firmly establish the Mystical Body of the Holy Catholic Church on earth.

During today's First Reading from The Acts of the Apostles, [Acts 4:32-35] we heard of the living faith that united the members of the early Church. They were of one heart and one soul. No one claimed private ownership of any possessions. All shared what they owned for the good of all.

The love and charity that was enjoyed by the early Church Christians is still visible today in a variety of degrees. Many of those who have been called to the religious life have made the vow of poverty in order to live their faith of one heart and soul as was seen in the early Church.

In the worldly life, many of those who are more fortunate than others contribute to charities on an ongoing basis to help the less fortunate. The oneness of heart and soul in today's Christians is seen through the ongoing fruits of the Bishop's appeal, the assistance provided to missions, the United Way Appeal, the Red Cross, special funds set up for those enduring natural disasters, the local Food Banks, and the thousands of other agencies that are managed by an endless number of volunteers who donate their endless time and efforts for the betterment of the world.

While our living faith embraces physical actions, it also requires that we testify to the Word of God. As the apostles gave their testimony to the glorious Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, as instruments of the Lord, we too are called to testify to others as to the reason for our living faith. From the understanding and knowledge of our living faith, our hope and our charity that have been firmly established in Jesus Christ, we are called to share this knowledge and understanding with our brothers and sisters for the growth and benefit of the whole Body of Christ. We are called to share it with our children so they too may establish their living faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

The Second Reading from the First Letter of John [1 Jn. 5:1-6] teaches us that "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child."

Through faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism, we were born again as new creations of the godly seed. As new creations, we became children of God. This qualifies us to inherit the eternal Kingdom of God if we persevere in our living faith through the sacramental life. As children of God, if we love our Heavenly Father, then we also love His children, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

How do we know if we love our brothers and sisters in Christ? It is by our love for God and by our obedience to His Commandments. The Commandments of God are not hard to obey for those who are born again. For their living faith in Christ testifies to their victory, that they have conquered the world. Their charitable actions and their testifying as to the Word of God to others is a sure sign that while they are in the world, they are not of this world. Their minds are set on what is spiritual in the hope of things to come.

Our living faith is in Jesus, the Son of God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." [Jn. 3:5] Through the words that were inspired upon John the Baptist, we know that through Jesus, we are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. [Mt. 3:11] Having received our Baptism through water, it is the Holy Spirit who purifies us as we are sanctified to become in the likeness of Christ.

When Jesus was baptized, it was not to be born again. For He is the eternal God. His baptism was an example for us to follow. The baptism of Jesus was not only a baptism by water, but also by blood. He gave His life for us as the sacrificial Lamb of God.

Who shall testify on our behalf that we have been born again through faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism? Who shall testify on our behalf that we have lived our faith in Christ? Who shall testify on our behalf that we allowed ourselves to be sanctified in Christ by the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit? Will it be our parents, our godparents or our friends?

No! It is the Holy Spirit Himself Who shall testify on our behalf. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit who bears witness that we have received the new creation of the godly seed during the Sacrament of Baptism. It is indwelling Holy Spirit who shall testify that we have walked our faith in Christ and allowed ourselves to be sanctified by His purifying fire.

Most of us, we remember today's reading from the Gospel of John. [Jn. 20:19-31] We all know the story of the doubting Thomas who said that he would not believe that Jesus had resurrected until such time as he had touched the mark of the nails and the side of the Lord. The Holy Bible does not tell us if St. Thomas ever did touch the marks on the body of Jesus. But it does tell us that once Jesus had appeared to St. Thomas, he suddenly came to believe. St. Thomas said, "My Lord and my God!" Not only did St. Thomas perceive at that moment that Jesus was His Lord and teacher, but that He was also the eternal God manifested in human form.

In response to the doubt of St. Thomas, Jesus said, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe." Yes, blessed are those who have not seen and who believe! Do you realize that not having seen Jesus, because of your living faith in Him, you are more blessed than the Apostle St. Thomas who doubted? What a blessing!

When Jesus appeared to His disciples, He breathed the Holy Spirit upon them. In other words, the Holy Spirit made His indwelling within the disciples and they became full of the Holy Spirit. Their minds were opened to the knowledge and understanding of the Spirit of Truth.

Having done this, Jesus authorized His Apostles to forgive the sins of others in His Name. Those who's sins are forgiven shall be forgiven. Those who sins are retained shall be retained.

This statement of Jesus testifies to the truth regarding the Sacrament of Confession. While some may want to believe that they can confess their sins directly to God the Father by bypassing those who have been appointed by Jesus to administer the Sacrament of Confession in the Holy Catholic Church, they are living a false hope. Without the Sacrament of Confession through the priests who have received the faculty to hear Confessions and who are in direct succession to the Apostles of Jesus, there is no forgiveness of sins.

Jesus did not say, "Be baptized and you are saved." He gave a number of commands. The Sacrament of Baptism through faith in Jesus Christ opens the door to our salvation. It makes us righteousness in the eyes of God through the forgiveness of the original sin and the sins committed before our Baptism. To maintain that righteousness, we must receive the Sacrament of Confession on a regular basis. The Sacrament of Confession that returns our state of grace is still insufficient for our salvation. We still need the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Living Bread that leads to the salvation to our souls.

My brothers and sisters, to live our faith in Jesus, we must receive the Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church. To live our faith in Jesus, we must abide by the Commandments of God. By doing these things, we will have life in His Most Holy Name.

The readings...

Second Sunday of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 4:32-35

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

R. (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 Jn 5:1-6

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.

Alleluia Jn 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Some Prayers

"Lord Jesus Christ, through your victory over sin and death you have overcome all the powers of sin and darkness. Help me to draw near to you and to trust in your life-giving word. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen my faith in your promises and my hope in the power of your resurrection."


 Lord Jesus, I believe in your grace and your love for me.  This is why I come before you now. I know that through this meditation I can experience your love and be filled with your grace, so that I might fulfill my role in your plan of salvation. You know that I am weak and am sometimes tempted to lose heart. But I know I can count on your generous graces to bolster my courage and love. For my part, I will strive to spend this time with you well.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


My brothers and sisters, today's message from the First Reading [Acts 10:34, 36-43] of the Word of God is presented to us by our first Pope, Peter the First. Often, we do not think of Peter as the First Pope. Rather, we think of him as St. Peter. But in reality, it is he who received the Keys to the Kingdom of God and he was in fact the first Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church. As the spiritual leader of the Church of Jesus Christ that was being established on earth, Saint Peter took his place of authority and began to speak to those who had assembled in the house of Cornelius.

St. Peter said, "You know the message of God sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ - he is Lord of all." For centuries, the people of God had awaited for the coming Messiah who would bring peace to the world to reconcile man with God. Peter affirmed that this had come to pass through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lord of all! Through Jesus, God the Father had fulfilled all His promises that are found in the Old Testament.

In the presence of all, Peter affirmed that he and the disciples of the Lord were witnesses to all what Jesus had done in Judea and in Jerusalem. What was said about Jesus was not fabricated stories. It was the truth. The disciples of Christ lived alongside Him and witnessed everything that He had done and said.

Peter testified that Jesus was indeed crucified and that He had died on the Holy Cross. But God raised Him from the dead on the third day. And, after His glorious resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of the disciples who were chosen by God as witnesses. In all, it is estimated that Jesus appeared to approximately 500 different persons during the days that followed His resurrection.

Now, when Jesus appeared to the disciples, it was not in a dream or in a vision. Nor was it the Spirit of Jesus who appeared to the disciples because a spirit cannot eat or drink. It was the Lord Jesus Himself, He had resurrected from the dead. In His resurrected physical body, Jesus ate and drank with the disciples.

When Jesus came to the disciples, He gave them a command. Jesus commanded the disciples to preach to the people and to testify to all that He was the One sent by God to judge the living and the dead. Jesus was the promised Messiah in fulfillment of the Scriptures.

In today's first reading, Peter finished by stating that all the prophets of the Old Testament spoke about the coming of Jesus. In their inspired writings, they testified that those who would believe in Jesus would receive the forgiveness of sin through His Most Holy Name. As the Holy Bible tells us elsewhere, Jesus gave the authority to forgive sins in His Name to His disciples. "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." [Jn. 20:23]

During today's Second Reading that was taken from the Letter of Paul to the Colossians, [Col. 3:1-4] we heard that if we have been raised with Christ, we should seek the things that are from above where Christ dwells in Heaven. We should set our minds on spiritual things, not on worldly things.

Having been born again through the Church Sacrament of Baptism, we are obligated to God to feed our souls with spiritual things. We are called to spiritually grow in shining virtues and in the fruit of the Holy Spirit so that we may gradually be transformed by the grace of God the Father to become more in the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ.

For many, their participation in the celebration of the Holy Mass on Easter Day is a stepping stone towards returning to their living faith. It is a sincere resolution... but it must not end there.

Jesus is the Lord of all! And we all need Him! On a regular basis, we need to receive the Sacrament of Confession that Jesus has instituted on earth through the apostles for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist that Jesus has instituted on earth through the apostles as our assurance of salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of God. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the Living Bread that feeds our souls once we have been reinstated in a state of grace after having received the Sacrament of Confession.

During today's reading of the Holy Gospel, [Jn. 10:1-18] we heard how Mary Magdalene needed Jesus. She wept when she realized that His body was gone, believing that someone had stolen it. She wept because she missed the Divine presence of Jesus. She missed that inner burning desire to be near the living body of Jesus, to follow Him, to hear Him, to feel loved, to be understood and to be forgiven of sins.

Mary Magdalene was not the only one to have these feelings. All the disciples of Jesus felt that way. That is why they reacted the way they did when they heard some saying that Jesus was no longer in His tomb, that He had resurrected, or that He was appearing here and there to different disciples.

The word, "Jesus is alive!" or "I have seen the Lord!" were enough to instantly create a great spiritual hunger in the soul of the disciples of Jesus where emptiness existed because of His death. The worldly minds of the disciples suddenly became alerted to the truth. Through these words, there was a new hope. Faith was being reinstated in the Words that Jesus had spoken while He lived on earth.

Jesus is the Lord of all! It is the will of God that we all experience spiritual hunger for the Divine presence of the Lord Jesus. It is the will of God that Jesus feed our spiritual hunger so like Mary Magdalene and the disciples, we will never want to leave His Divine presence.

When we set our minds on Jesus, we do what is spiritual. While we are in this world, we are not of this world. Through faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism, we have become new creations of the godly seed, called to obey and serve the Lord Jesus in all righteousness.

When you go home today, think of the words, "Jesus is alive!" Think of the words, "Jesus is the Lord of all!" He is your Lord as much as He is my Lord and the Lord of all the others, those who are present and those who are not. Remember that spiritual hunger that you experienced so many times in your life, during those moments when you desired that the Lord Jesus could be so close to you... (pause) and He came close to you. You felt His warmth, His joy and His peace.

Awaken your spirits so you may relive those moments, not only for a day or two, but for every day of your life until you appear before the Lord Jesus in person. While you are in this world, be of above. For Jesus is the Lord of all and by the grace of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, He can once more ignite your hearts with a burning hunger that will draw you to Him.

The Resurrection of the Lord The Mass of Easter Day

Reading 1ACTS 10:34A, 37-43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea, 
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached, 
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil, 
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2COL 3:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, 
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

Or1 COR 5:6B-8

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, 
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, 
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, 
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Sequence - Victimæ Paschali Laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.

AlleluiaCF. 1 COR 5:7

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed;
let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 20:1-9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, 
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter 
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, 
the one who had arrived at the tomb first, 
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.

Prayer for Today

"Lord Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over the grave and you have won for us new life and resurrection power. Give me the eyes of faith to see you in your glory. Help me to draw near to you and to grow in the knowledge of your great love for us and your great victory over sin and death."

Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. Thank you for your presence in my life. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. Be with me now, and inspire my prayer.