April 16, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

ALLELUIA! Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, the Octave Day of Easter! In the Church’s reckoning, it is still Easter Sunday.  In other words, the Paschal mystery that culminates in Christ’s rising from the dead is so huge an event, it takes a full week to fully grasp it.

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter to be “Divine Mercy Sunday” based on the revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, a nun who, in the 1930s, received a series of private revelations from Christ. Her revelations highlight God’s inexhaustible mercy toward humanity and feature an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus emanating with divine love. It is through the vessel of trust, Jesus revealed to St. Faustina, that we gain access to the fountain of God’s mercy. Thus, the image of Divine Mercy always includes that incredible statement of faith “Jesus, I trust in you!”

The celebration of Divine Mercy stands at the core of what these Easter days are all about. In her vision, St. Faustina saw coming from the Heart of Jesus two rays of light which illuminate the world. The two rays, as Jesus himself told her, represent blood and water flowing from his Sacred Heart. The blood recalls the sacrifice of Golgotha and the mystery of the Eucharist; the water recalls our Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 3:5; 4:14). Through the mystery of Christ’s wounded Heart, the restorative tide of God’s merciful love continues to spread over us and all generations.

As you are reading this letter, I will be in the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend to attend the Ordination of a young transitional Deacon, Joseph Cong Le, whom I have adopted for many years as a spiritual son in the same vocation. I ask you to pray that he may be a good and holy priest, and that he may be the best face of mercy that every priest should be.

A Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday to all, especially members of our parish’s Divine Mercy Prayer Group!

Msgr. Cuong M. Pham