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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

The Mission of Peace

2nd Sunday of Easter

The Gospel places before us three special moments: first, Christ wishing and praying for peace for his disciples revealing that He is that peace Himself, and proving it by his very wounds. He places His peace beyond the powers of death and human rejection, in spite of everything that happen before, their denial and treason against Him by the disciples, all set aside by the mercy of His love which is stronger and everlasting that is how strong his peace is. The second moment is one where he gives them Himself, His own breath, every ounce of His strength, giving them the Spirit of his own mission, with which he authorizes them to also give others, the very peace which He just given them as pure gift: “who’s sins you forgive…”.


In today’s celebration of the Divine Mercy, we are given clarity to see that God does not abandon us even in the hardest of hearts, nor even in our weakest moment of faith, but in the contrary, God comes even closer to provide us the path of salvation, for that is why Thomas, at the third moment in the Gospel, has become our symbol of providence, for all of us, one way or another, have passed through the experience of a fragile faith, where we discover that God never, never abandons us in the darkest of darks moments when faith seems to have completely evaporated. And then there are horrifying disappointments, betrayals, injustices, indifference, frustrations, the absence of love even from dear ones, marginalization by your our own circle of so called friends, plans that appear to go nowhere, numberless barriers to trust, the feeling that the devil himself has closed off our hearts from ever confiding in anyone else again, and even in the love of the merciful and divine Redeemer.

The Risen Christ continues to come to each one of us, to live together in faith, in love, in joy and in peace. Today, Jesus, as the fruit of the Resurrection, gives us the great gift of the sacrament of Reconciliation. He says to those Apostles: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven; and those whose sins are not forgiven they will remain unforgiven.”

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“Christ departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find him. For he departed, and behold, he is here.” —St. Augustine

Pope Francis’ Easter Message

The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the wom- en: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” ( Mt 28:5-6).

This is the culmination of the Gospel, it is the Good News par excellence: Jesus, who was crucified, is risen! This event is the basis of our faith and our hope. If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew. The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.

That is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!” In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.

With this joyful certainty in our hearts, today we turn to you, risen Lord! Help us to seek you and to find you, to realize that we have a Father and are not orphans; that we can love and adore you. Help us to overcome the scourge of hunger, aggravated by conflicts and by the immense wastefulness for which we are often responsible.

Enable us to protect the vulnerable, especially children, women and the elderly, who are at times exploited and abandoned. Enable us to care for our brothers and sisters…and to care for those suffering from so many other diseases which are also spread through neglect and dire poverty. Comfort those who have left their own lands to migrate to places offering hope for a better future and the possibility of living their lives in dignity and, not infrequently, of freely professing their faith. We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent.

Lord, we pray to you for all the peoples of the earth: you who have conquered death, grant us your life, grant us your peace! Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!

“Rosary for Healing and Protecting” Reflection Guide

Please remember to keep survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their families in prayer. Our survivors have taught us that the path to healing can be a long and arduous journey. One on which, they need our continued sup- port to sustain them! Each of us, as members of our Catholic community, can contribute to the healing by remembering survivors of clergy abuse, as well as all survivors of childhood sexual abuse in our prayers. A Prayer for Healing of Victims of Abuse is a powerful resource, as is the Rosary for Healing and Protection. Both can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne Healy, Director of Victims Assistance at: (213)637-7650.

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