The eight days of Easter, according to St. Augustine, are days of mercy and pardon. Moreover, he calls the Sunday of the Octave of Easter “the summary of the days of mercy”. On April 30, 2000, during the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, the “humble apostle of mercy”, Pope John Paul II announced that the Second Sunday of Easter would now be celebrated as DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY throughout the universal Church. He also explained that the image of the Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina represents the Risen Christ bringing mercy to the world. Indeed, the Risen Christ brings victory, peace and mercy to a believing world. The Easter mystery of His passion, death and resurrection unleashes the power of His divine mercy that flows from His pierced heart. May we be among the blessed who are able to experience the peace and joy of Jesus’ divine presence and mercy. With all our heart, like St. Thomas, we may be able to say from our hearts, “My Lord and my God”.
Easter is the feast of all feasts. The feast of Christmas did not even exist for the first centuries of the Church’s life, but Christianity is inconceivable without Easter for three reasons: 1) The Resurrection of Christ is the basis of our Christian faith. It is the greatest of all miracles, for it proves that Jesus is God. “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain.” (1Cor. 15:14). “Jesus is Lord. He has risen!” (Rom. 10:19) was the central theme of the kerygma or preaching of the apostles, because Jesus had prophesied His Resurrection as a sign of His divinity. The founder of no other religion has an empty tomb as Jesus has. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then the Church would be a fraud or a sham. If He had not risen, then Jesus would have remained forever a good person who had met a tragic end. 2) Easter is the guarantee of our resurrection. “I am the Resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will live even though he dies.” (Jn. 11:25-26). 3) Easter is a feast which gives us hope and encouragement in this world of pain, sorrows and tears. It reminds us that life is worth living if we live it with the Lord.