Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Greetings to you all!
Second Sunday of Easter Year C
The Second Sunday of Easter is also called Divine Mercy Sunday. On 30th April 2000, when St. John Paul II canonized his countrywoman, Faustina, he said, “It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday’.” In brief, this Sunday invites us to contemplate the mercy of God.
One could tangibly experience the mercy and forgiveness of God through the sacrament of reconciliation. This happens when we have the courage to accept it and then we can, see how the grace and peace, guidance and support of Christ comes into our lives.
The gospel passage for this weekend begins with the narration of the first appearance of the Risen Lord to his apostles on the day of Easter. Then, it goes on to narrate the appearance of the Risen Lord to Thomas who was absent on the day of the Easter. The latter incident takes place on the eighth day of Easter (like today). Thus, the gospel text of today from John (20:19-31) really links Easter Sunday to the Octave. A very apt reading indeed to conclude the Easter Octave!
I would like to focus on the first part of the gospel passage, which describes the events that took place on the very day of the resurrection of Jesus. After his greeting of ‘Peace be with you’, Jesus performs three significant actions:
- Jesus commissions them. He sends them out: “’As the Father sent me, so am I sending you” (Jn 20:21).
- After this, “He breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22). It is interesting to note that the evangelist John does not separate the resurrection of the Lord from the descent of the Holy Spirit. In a sense, the Easter, and the ‘Pentecost’ (as Luke calls it in the Acts) are one: we receive the Holy Spirit when we experience the Risen Lord.
- Finally, on the same occasion, Jesus institutes the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained” (Jn 20:23).
Let us continue to live the joy of Easter in our lives. May we also have the courage to accept and acknowledge our failures before God and seek his mercy in our lives. Amen.
The weekend eBulletin
Click here to download the eBulletin for the Second Sunday of Easter Year C.
Protect them in this time of peril;
let them know not death but life, not slavery but freedom.
You are Father of all;
we are brothers and sisters.
Give us the strength to live that truth in love,
choosing peace not war.
Through Christ our Lord.
On Sunday 1st May: Monthly Parish Morning Tea
On May 1 after the 8am Mass we will have the Parish Morning Tea. Please come along to meet friends and to make friends from our Basilica community.
Oblate Madonna Statues
The “Moments of Grace” program that has been running since August2021, commemorates the moment in which St Eugene, at the Oblate Madonna statue, received affirmation of his newly founded order. The Programme culminates on 15 August 2022, on the 200th anniversary of this significant moment in Oblate history. Each month, a resource is being developed to encourage us as the wider De Mazenod Family community to be more aware of the history around St Eugene, and to grow deeper in our connection with Mary.
As part of the Programme, replicas of the Oblate Madonna statue have been ordered in two sizes for distribution across the Oblate Ministries. Fr Christian Fini OMI will be presenting a larger statue to each Ministry on his visits over the coming months. Smaller statues are available for sale of$10 from our piety stall. Thanks for all your support you give us in our missions.
The Planned Giving Programme
The planned giving programme is an important part of the Parish as it allows us to maintain all aspects of the Basilica, Presbytery and Parish Administration Centre. To keep the Parish viable, we must maintain a target of 95% and above each week. Last week’s giving was 53%.
Please consider joining the Planned Giving Programme. If you are not already a member, for more information contact the Parish Office. Thank you!
Safeguarding of our children in the Parish
The Archdiocesan Safeguarding Project was started in 2016 by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment for all its members, leaders and especially children and vulnerable adults. The parish of St Patrick’s Basilica is committed to creating a safe parish. To read more please click here.
Fr John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest