Today, 2nd Sunday of Easter, we complete the octave of this liturgical time, one of the two octaves —along with that of Christmas— that have remained out of the renewal made by the Vatican Council II. During eight days we contemplate the same mystery and we try to go deeper into it by the light of the Holy Spirit.
Pope John Paul II decided to call this Sunday Divine Mercy Sunday. It is something that goes far beyond a particular devotion. In his encyclical Dives in Misericordia, the Holy Father explains that Divine Mercy is the ultimate manifestation of God's love in a history injured by sin. In Latin “Misericordia” (which means “mercy”) comes from two words: “Miseria” (misery) and “cor” (heart). Our own despicable situation due to sin is placed by God in Jesus' loving heart, that is faithful to His Father's designs. Jesus Christ, dead and resurrected, is the supreme manifestation and acting of the Divine Mercy. «For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son» (Jn 3:16) and has sent him to die to save us. «To redeem the slave He has sacrificed the Son», we have proclaimed in the Easter Proclamation of the Easter Vigil. And, once resurrected, He has constituted him into a source of salvation for all those who believe in Him. By faith and conversion we receive the treasure of his Divine Mercy.
Holy Mother Church, who wants her children to live the resurrected life, commands that —at least for Easter— we receive Holy Communion and we do it in the grace of God. The fifty days following Easter is the right time for us to fulfill the Paschal Precept. It is time to practice the sacrament of confession and benefit from the power of forgiving sins the Lord resurrected has conferred to His Church. As he said to the Apostles: «Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven» (Jn 20,22-23). We shall thus go to the source of Divine Mercy. And we should not doubt either to bring our friends to these sources of life, to the Eucharist and to Penance. Jesus resurrected expects us to.