This weekend, in addition to being the first Sunday in the Octave of Easter, is what St. John Paul II instituted as “Divine Mercy Sunday.” I often wondered what the two celebrations have to do with each other. The Gospel for this weekend is always the same, what we have commonly called the story of doubting Thomas. As the Gospel relates, Thomas was not with the gathering when Jesus appears on the day of resurrection. It takes a whole week’s time before Jesus then appears to the gathering again. This time Thomas is with them. It is at this time that Thomas in faith declares Jesus as: “My Lord and my God!” Why did it take a week, why not the next day? Thomas wasn’t ready on that first Easter Sunday to make that profession of faith. It is God’s Mercy that gives us the time to struggle through all our life experiences and bring us to that time of profession of faith. God’s Mercy is also God’s patience with us. Thomas as well, needed time to process what was being said. He knew that he had shared an experience of the earthly Jesus. He had that in common with the others gathered. He had to grow in his curiosity and wonderment about if such an experience as “resurrection” was indeed possible. He had to develop openness to the possibility. Only then, with that openness was he able to experience what the others gathered experienced. Only then could he declare his profession of faith and become an “intentional disciple.” Sometimes it appears as if our churches are filled with zombie like members who do what everyone else in the family does but never “see the Lord” for themselves. Our mission as church is to guide people through this time and identify what is our common experience, to build our curiosity, and openness and then to allow Jesus to speak to each and everyone’s heart. Jesus, He who is raised from the dead, wants to have an intimate relationship with you. Do you believe that? I pray that each and every one of us can proclaim with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”
A SPECIAL THANK YOU for all our Pastoral Staff and Parishioners who worked so very hard to assist all who came to St. Lawrence during Holy Week to feel so very welcomed. Thanks for your decorating, food preparation, attendance, and especially the sharing of your musical and ministerial gifts throughout our worship events. Thank you for assisting us to realize the risen Lord Jesus in our midst.
SECOND ANNUAL MULTICULTURAL EVENT in support of the ministry and projects of ROTA: Reaching Out 2 Africa will be held on Saturday, April 30th, 2016 from 7:30PM to 10:00pm at D’Youville College Center, 329 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, NY. Enjoy African food, music, and culture presented by a diverse group of African youth and young adults. ROTA is a ministry of St. Martin de Porres RC Church. Jenaro O. Aken, Event Chairperson.