Notes from Father Charlie.....
Dear St. Ambrose parishioners,
Alleluia! The Lord is risen! We conclude our celebration of the Octave of Easter today, which is the eight days after Easter when we celebrate each day like a small Easter. We will continue the Easter season for a total of 50 days, up until Pentecost, commemorating the time that Jesus was still here on earth after his resurrection, and then the time between the Ascension and Pentecost. Today is known as the Sunday in the Octave of Easter, but has more recently been known as Divine Mercy Sunday. This name comes from the apparitions of Jesus to Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, in the 1930s.
Jesus spoke extensively to her about God's greatest attribute, which is his mercy. Sometimes we think of God as vengeful and eager to punish, but Jesus told St. Faustina that he would much prefer to forgive and show mercy if we ask for it. The principal way to receive the Lord’s mercy is through the sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus says that when we come to confession, He himself is waiting there, disguised by the priest, to forgive our sins. We can also venerate the beautiful image of the merciful Jesus, which shows Jesus with rays of blood and water coming from his heart that was pierced during the crucifixion. Jesus also gave us the beautiful Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Feast of Divine Mercy which we celebrate today. You can find more information about the Divine Mercy devotion here: www.thedivinemercy.org
Yet God also calls us to show mercy to others if we hope to receive mercy from him. The only conditional phrase in the “Our Father” is “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Jesus actually commented that if we do not forgive others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us. So in this Easter season, take some time to reconcile with someone from whom you have been estranged. When someone wrongs you at work, or at school, or when you are driving, rather than get upset, ask Jesus to have mercy upon them. When we show mercy to others, then we have every right to claim God’s mercy upon us and those whom we love.
Your servant in the Lord,
Father Charles Cortinovis