I like to call this Second Easter Sunday, “Wound Sunday.” Pope St. John Paul II left us his devotion to the DIVINE MERCY of God. This Second Easter Sunday has taken that name. But the power moving from the scars of the Risen Christ, turn denials of the apostles into great power of healing. These Easter days leave great restorations about them. Wherever the risen Lord appears, people are forgiven.
To Peter was brought the sick in these first Easter days, just in case his shadow would cross over them and bring healing. Even his shadow brought healing. I find that incredible! I have to work on mine. My shadows seem to cause more problems than heal, but something had happened to Peter. He had been forgiven. There is an incredible source of transformation here. And the gift, the sign of God’s resurrection power was majorly (Is that a word?) and profoundly serene – peace. The risen One said, “Peace be with you.” They sensed this was more than, “Shalom,” the traditional Jewish greeting at the door of the house. This peace had spirit in it. “THEN HE BREATHED ON THEM AND SAID RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. IF YOU FORGIVE OTHER’S SIN, THEY ARE FORGIVEN. IF YOU HOLD THEM BOUND, THEY ARE HELD BOUND!
What power we have! It is certainly expressed in the Church’s sacrament of Penance. Lent was an amazing season of confessions here at St. Mary’s. The transformations of life and release of old wounds and traumas often leave my mount hanging open. But each of us can give that away, lavishly. We can forgive even when our victims do not request it. NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENSS was the title of Archbishop Tutu’s book from the traumas of South Africa’s apartheid. If any community could serve as a resource to the human family in this area, the Christian community should. We have the history and the mandate from the risen one. Forgive seventy times seven times. We can lift wounds off of people’s backs. It is fun. It is powerful. It is divine.
I love the greeting of this season in Spanish, “Felices pascuas floridas!” It is lavish. Life is full of Easters. May you have many of them as we remember the stories of the Lord scars and the healing they continue to bring to so many lives. May that divine peace flower from them, with a beautiful fragrance. No Easter lily can compare to that.
Thanks to all who made our Easter Triduum such an awesome event this year. Breathe. Give something away. You have left behind a beautiful fragrance in the house of the Lord.
A tender week,
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM