Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave Easter,  This year it falls on Sunday April 23rd, 2017

Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Portrait

“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). These were the words of Jesus to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament, who received the visions and visitations from Our Lord Jesus himself. The devotion to  Divine Mercy was revealed during her encounters with Jesus and for all those who practice it, especially on the Divine Mercy Sunday, there are special promises from Jesus and indulgences granted by the Church. The Divine Mercy portrait is a depiction of Jesus based on the devotion initiated by Saint Maria Faustina.

“I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish,” Jesus told Faustina, according to her diary, which has been studied and authenticated by the Church over several decades. “I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory” (Diary of Faustina, 48). In the painting Jesus is shown raising his right hand in blessing, and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one white.   They have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and white for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary – 299). The depictions often contains the message “Jesus, I trust in You!” The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the “Fountain of Mercy”. 

May we continue to experience the merciful love of Jesus in our daily lives and in our world today.

 

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CHRIST IS RISEN, ALLELUIA!

Christ is risen graphicJesus Christ our Lord is truly risen from the dead, Alleluia!
We are an Easter people, privileged to celebrate the gift of Christ’s victory over death at Easter.
The Easter celebration is that of the great mystery of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Sunday (on a movable date, unlike Christmas that is fixed for 25 December).
It crowns our celebration of the Holy Week, is the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday), and is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year which lasts for seven weeks.
Let us continue to give thanks to the Father for raising Jesus from the dead and for giving us hope that death is not the end. There is eternal life for all who believe in Christ.
Jesus Christ is risen, he is our Lord and God, alleluia!

Easter Triduum

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bread and wine

The Easter Triduum, the three solemn days – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday night), is the celebration of the Christian Passover.  As with all the great feasts of the Church, the celebration begins at dusk on Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. On Good Friday, the first full day of the Triduum, we gather to remember the Lord’s Passion and Death. Saturday is a day of quiet reflection on the Entombment of Christ as we wait, like the disciples, for news of the resurrection. And finally, on Saturday night we gather in vigil to hear the great news that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, is not dead, but is risen from the grave. The Triduum liturgy ends with Evening Prayer on Easter day.

crucifix

Christ Crucified on the Cross

The Triduum is at the heart and soul of our Christian faith, commemorating the triumph of God’s love over darkness and death. It’s the fullest ritual expression of what it means to be a Christian (Dan Schutte). It is the journey of faith that truly shows us that death is not the end. As we embrace our crosses and go through suffering in our various situations in life, Christ’s resurrection is and will always be our victory.

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Paschal Candle

HOLY WEEK

Holy Week symbols

Holy Week Symbols – palm, basin and towel, crown and crosses

HOLY WEEK in the Catholic Church is the most important week of the year. In it we celebrate the paschal mystery – the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the week leading us to the solemn celebration of Christ’s victory over death at Easter. It is a time of immense recollection, reflection and prayer.

The Easter Triduum begins on Holy Thursday and concludes with the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night.

We are encouraged to take at heart once again our Lenten resolutions during Holy Week and make the effort to live them out concretely (in case we have failed to do so during the past five weeks of Lent). Reconciliation with oneself, with God and neighbour (through the Sacrament of Reconciliation), fasting and almsgiving are to continue during Holy Week and the fruits of these holy practices will lead us to the Easter joy.