Celebrant: Christ is Risen! It is because we now share in that Risen life that we are able to intercede for the world.
That the Vicar of Christ, the Pope, will experience continued grace and strength as he announces to the world that Christ is alive, we pray to the Lord...
For all who were baptized at Easter, that they may experience in the Church the communion of life and love we have inherited from the apostles, we pray to the Lord...
That the gift of forgiveness, entrusted to the Church through the apostles, may reach all who have been wounded by abortion, we pray to the Lord...
For those who, like Thomas, do not yet believe, that they may see Jesus through our words and actions of faith and charity, we pray to the Lord...
That the Risen Christ may heal the sick and comfort all who are afflicted in any way, particularly in our own families and parish, we pray to the Lord...
That the deceased may share in the Risen glory of Christ, we pray to the Lord...
Father, we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and our God.
Through him, grant all that we have asked you today,
for He is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
Divine Mercy and Pro-life
Pope John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday. Many of the faithful pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy regularly. There is a link between this devotion and the pro-life movement. Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who was a principal translator of St. Faustina's diary, and the postulator of her cause of canonization, writes the following: "On at least three occasions, from 8:00-11:00 in the evening, she felt like her insides were being torn apart. She suffered so much that she thought she was going to die. The doctors couldn't figure out what was ailing her, and no medication was able to alleviate her sufferings. Later, she was given to understand that she was undergoing those pains for mothers who were aborting their children (Diary, 1276).
"On another occasion, she had a vision of an angel coming with thunderbolts to destroy one of the most beautiful cities of her country. And she felt powerless to do anything about it (Diary, 474). What antidote did the Lord give her? The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. [She explained] that the city was to be chastised for its sins, primarily the sin of abortion." ("Wombs of Mercy," Marian Helpers Bulletin, Summer 1995, p.13).
Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
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“I hold the keys of death.” Only the Lord Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, can say that, as we hear him say in today’s second reading. It is a fundamental temptation of the human family to think that some day, by our ingenuity, technology, knowledge or power, we can hold the keys of death. That’s what drives the culture of death. We want to be in perfect control. Advocates of assisted suicide call for the right of people to control the timing and manner of their own deaths. We want to “tame” death so we can use it as a tool to escape suffering. Hence we impose it on the unborn when they are deemed too inconvenient, or when they have disabilities or conditions like Down Syndrome. Nearly all unborn children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome are killed by abortion.
But if we want victory over death, it is the Lord Jesus Christ to whom we turn. Rather than proclaiming an ethic of death, we proclaim a Kingdom of Life. John “heard…a voice as loud as a trumpet,” and he himself was on the island of Patmos precisely because he had trumpeted the message of Christ. The first reading shows us that the apostles’ preaching of the Resurrection was accompanied by tremendous signs. The Resurrection, in other words, gives rise to a community of those who both believe and proclaim it, and bring its power to the world. That is why we are pro-life.
Thomas doubted the victory of life over death. Where was he the first Easter night? Scripture does not tell us, except to say that he was not with the other apostles, to whom the Lord appeared. Maybe Thomas was out looking for the Lord! After all, if he was the kind of person who had to “see for himself,” and had heard the announcement from the women that morning that they had seen the Lord on the road, maybe he thought that he could go out on the same road and find him! But that was a mistake, because Thomas separated himself from the community of believers gathered around Peter. And he missed the Lord.
It was only when Thomas reunited himself with the community that he, too, saw the Lord. Today, we are that community of faith, bringing the world to understand that the destiny of the human person is life, not death, and that there is only one who holds the keys of death. He is the Lord of our lives, our freedom, and our choices. He is the Risen One!