We begin this Second Week of Easter. Today is also  DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY! Normally, we would pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet this afternoon, but because of Covid-19, please pray it on your own at home.
The Easter Season, the 50 Day Period of Mystagogia, is meant for us to reflect more deeply on the Easter experience and how the resurrection of Jesus has changed our lives. It is probably more important this year because of the effects of Covid-19 on all of us, and being encouraged to stay home, unless we need to go to the food store, pharmacy and other essential businesses. It is easy to become discouraged and depressed about the present situation. There has to be a reason to hope, and to continue to live our lives as best as we can. That reason is Jesus, who instilled in all of us a sense that all is well because he is present with and within us. His resurrection gave us a new perspective on life and a reason to be optimistic about it. This doesn’t mean we   ignore the present    situation, but that we look at it from a different perspective.  We all know that our lives are different because of Covid-19. But they were different before this existed. They were changed by the resurrection, which transformed our lives and gave us a new perspective on how to look at life. Jesus has renewed us in his image and invited us to reflect that presence to each other. If we fail to do this, then it becomes too easy to give in to the doom and gloom that can be prevalent at difficult times like this. While our lives, and the life of the world has changed, there is one constant for us all, and this is that   Jesus has truly risen! He calls us to be a people of new life, of hope and resurrection for each other and for all we meet. The   doctors, nurses, caregivers, first responders and all those who work in the stores and businesses in which we shop look to us for a sign of what the new life means. It needs to be reflected in our words, in our eyes and in our attitudes and demeanors so that we become the visible sign of resurrection, new life and hope for them and all we meet. This may not be easy, but what’s the alternative?  Yes, everything is different today, and will remain so for a while. Until life returns to some kind of normalcy, it is still Easter and the Easter Season. This gives us every reason to celebrate the new life of the Risen Lord and to bask in the wonder of resurrection and new life.  HAPPY EASTER SEASON!!!     HAPPY MYSTAGOGIA!!      HAPPY DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY!!!   ~ Fr. Joe

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