Today is a special day in the Catholic Church.
The Easter octave draws to a close as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. It is also Divine Mercy Sunday where, on the second Sunday of Easter each year, we celebrate God’s infinite mercy as revealed to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.
The Feast of Divine Mercy was established by the late Pope John Paul II and inaugurated in 2000 on the same day that the church canonized Saint Maria Faustina. Five years later, in 2005, Pope John Paul II died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. Six years later, in 2011, Pope John Paul II was beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday. And in 2014, on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope John Paul II was canonized along with Pope John XXIII.
So maybe it is fitting that we hear what Saint John Paul II has to say about “The Victory Called Resurrection” –
”Christ rose from the dead at a precise moment in time. Yet he still waits for his resurrection to transform all people as he breaks into the lives of each individual and into the history of all people. But the transformation of society and individuals through the resurrection depends on the cooperation of all people. In this resurrection there is always ebb and flow. People break the bonds of sin and death. They rise in Christ as he did that Easter morning so many centuries ago. Yes, whenever there is a heart that overcomes selfishness, violence, and hatred – wherever there is a heart that reaches out to someone in need – Christ is risen from the dead, risen today. Wherever someone pursues true justice, and peace, death is defeated and Christ’s resurrection is reaffirmed. Whenever a person dies who has lived believing, loving, and suffering for Christ, there is the resurrection. This resurrection, which is meant for all people, is the final victory. It is God’s answer to humanity’s sorrows and trials. It is not death but life. It is not despair but hope. And it is to this hope that the Church invites all people today. To us, to all of humanity, the Church repeats the unbelievable yet true announcement: Christ is risen! May the whole world rise with him! Alleluia”
– Saint John Paul