Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
The Sunday after Easter is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. The readings from this Sunday, though, make this a mini-Divine Mercy celebration. St. Paul writes convincingly in the 2nd reading, “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.” St. Paul has tasted the infinite riches of God’s mercy, and he is a changed man. He describes himself as once being, “a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant.” That’s true of all of us. Unless we have truly experienced God’s mercy in the depth of our being, we live fearful and proud lives. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and the survival of the fittest is the rule. The “other” is a threat to me and my existence. Only in Christ do we discover a new way of being, where we can surrender our pride and truly love our neighbor.
One of the great graces of priesthood is accompanying people in opening their hearts to receive Christ’s mercy. In being forgiven and made a new creation in Christ, they can then extend forgiveness freely to those who have offended them (often grievously so). What new life we receive when we let go of resentments, and offer unprovoked mercy to those in our lives. Rigidity, hardness of heart, wrath, and fear no longer stand in the way in our relationship with God or others. I know this much is true: wherever we currently find ourselves, the Lord wants to deepen our experience of his mercy. If it has been some time since your last sacramental confession, I invite you to taste again the depths of God’s mercy that he extends to you in Christ.
Be on the lookout this weekend for our St. Martin of Tours parish history book, written by Mrs. Carolyn Silvey. The book is the fruit of Carolyn’s countless hours of searching the archives in order to tell our story. Purchase a copy for $10 after Masses this weekend and next!
Thank you for your responsiveness to the pantry’s great need at this time. We’ve seen consistently high turnout, and our food reserves have dwindled in some areas. We are always in need of more volunteers as well, both on Monday mornings for distribution, and in preparation throughout the week. A special word of gratitude to Chuck Smith for his expert and tireless coordination of the pantry.