“Brother and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” – Col. 3:1-4
The above exhortation of St. Paul is always proclaimed at the Easter Sunday Mass. It is one of Paul’s clearest statements on the connection between the Resurrection of Jesus and our own hope for heaven. As far as the promises of God are concerned, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Here Maeve is pictured placing this Scripture passage inside of the Easter eggs that we have been distributing the past few days. We have given them out in church, at stores, among our neighbors, to the CFR Friars, and yesterday, to the residents of Wells Nursing Home, where Glenn performed as St. Paul (see the “Visit with St. Paul”page for more). People have been receiving them with joy and gratitude. As we give them out, we say; “Easter is not just one day, it’s a season.” Fifty days to be exact.
The idea for this kind of Easter egg originated from our time as missionaries with LAMP Ministries. During Easter week, the whole community would have an egg hunt, and each egg had a different Scripture, and candy, of course. A wonderful time for faith-sharing would follow, based on these passages.
Who says evangelizing can’t be fun? It has been great fun for us, giving the eggs to people of all ages and seeing their smiles. One woman opened up her egg in front of us, and began to read the Scripture to her nine-year old grandson. He smiled as she explained its meaning to him. A precious moment to be sure, and what a privilege to witness it!
Another woman reported that her husband had recently made 160 eggs for an egg hunt for their grandchildren. She said she would give our egg to him — a kind of “thank you” for his service.
We still have bags of eggs and candy left – so please pray we don’t run out of energy before we run out of eggs!
St. John Paul II named the Sunday after Easter, “Divine Mercy Sunday” in 2000, on the day he canonized St. Faustina Kowalska. She was a Polish nun who lived in the 20th century and to whom Jesus had appeared numerous times. Her diary, now a spiritual classic, is based on these apparitions.
The above image was created by an artist, in response to Jesus’ request made to St. Faustina. The image represents the moment when Jesus’ heart was pierced on the cross. The saying, “Jesus, I trust in you” at the bottom also came from a direct request by the Lord to this humble visionary.
Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, in his book, The ‘One Thing’ Is Three, which is a beautiful study of the Holy Trinity, talks about St. John Paul’s pontificate in terms of the Divine Mercy message. Having died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2005, John Paul’s final message to the Church was read posthumously to the people of Rome on the afternoon of the great feast. These were his final words;
“How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy! Lord, who reveals the Father’s love by your death and Resurrection, we believe in you and confidently repeat to you today: Jesus, I trust in you, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.”
The first words of John Paul II, immediately after his election, were “Be not afraid.” Fr. Gaitley writes; “It’s like this: John Paul begins(his pontificate) by telling us what to do (“Be not afraid”) and ends by reminding us how to do it (“Jesus, I trust in you”). ”
May your Divine Mercy Sunday be a genuine experience of the tender, great love of our God. May Easter joy abide in your heart through a vibrant faith- throughout all fifty days. Lastly, may your love and enthusiasm for God draw others to the heart of Christ and to the power of His Gospel.
-Maeve and Glenn
P.S. Learn more about “Faustina; Messenger of Mercy” the powerful one-woman performance, which may come to your area in the future.