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Sunday, April 23, 2017

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Second Sunday of Easter
Mercy Sunday


Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 1:3-9
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
John 20:19-31

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confession

"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them." —John 20:22-23

In the evening of the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus came to His disciples, showed them His nail-scarred hands and wounded side, breathed on them, gave them the Holy Spirit, and sent them out (Jn 20:19-22). Jesus sent His disciples out not to just make a general announcement of His Resurrection but to specifically invite us to confess our sins and be forgiven (see Jn 20:23; Lk 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38).

One of the first acts of the risen Christ was to begin to develop the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of sins. One of the first things we need to do this Easter season is to repent and go to Confession. When we have removed the planks of sin from our own eyes, we can then remove the specks from the eyes of others by calling them to repent, forgive, go to Confession, be forgiven (Mt 7:5), and immerse ourselves in the limitless mercy of God.

Without Confession, our celebration of the Easter season will be aborted and not come to full term. With Confession, we will meet the risen Christ, be sent to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and celebrate the risen Christ for the full Easter season and for eternity.

Prayer:  Father, may my first Confession in this Easter season be life-changing. On this Mercy Sunday, may I experience the depth of Your ocean of mercy as You reconcile me to Yourself.

Promise:  The brethren "devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." —Acts 2:42

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25), "the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on The Secret of Confession on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016

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