The celebration of the Easter Triduum was an unforgettable experience since, for the first time in recent history, the sacred mysteries were to celebrated without the presence of the community. Livestreaming masses have become the norm during this pandemic and, although many have expressed gratitude for this technology, we need to remember that this is not entertainment but a call to worship. There is no way we will complete with movies and music videos in terms of trying to distract and entertain. Our celebrations are not for entertainment, but catechesis and worship.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy, which was established by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002 as a way of helping the world understand that Christs’ passion, death, and resurrection was about the salvation of souls. Jesus comes to save! He comes to save all of creation, but most of all, we who are created in God’s image and likeness. This year we have been called to distance ourselves from one another, but not from God. When we distance ourselves from God, we enter a process of death that is physical, spiritual, and eternal. Mercy is offered by Christ to impact us today and forever. It is to fulfill God’s original plan in creating humanity and raising a few of us to the dignity of adopting us as sons and daughters of God through baptism.
Jesus gives the great authority of forgiving sins to the Apostles and his successors who today are the bishops and priests of our Church. The Mission of Christ is to look for the lost, instruct those who do not know God’s plan, and forgive sins for the sake of sanctifying His people, the Church. This mission now rests on the shoulders of those who believe. It is Christ himself, who has called us for this critical task. Every baptized Christian is, by definition, a missionary of Christ.
Sadly, our generation has been abandoning the great treasure of our faith we have inherited from the previous generation who brought it to us with much suffering and sacrifice. More and more people are consciously and actively abandoning Christ and the salvation he offers. What does the future hold for the children of our children? Will it be a world that is more just, more merciful, more prosperous, more human by abandoning Christ and his Church? No! What awaits them is a future of darkness, violence, confusion, hopelessness, and sadness. These effects, we can say, are already being experienced in every home and family.
The message of mercy is an offer of hope and light. Today we have the opportunity to decide if we will continue to be the generation that passively beholds the abandonment of Christ and the fall of the Church or are we the generation that always builds the kingdom of God and announces, with courage and conviction, that Jesus Christ is Lord! I invite you to take our faith seriously and work together to be that people that build and will not allow our greatest inheritance to be lost.