APRIL 18-19, 2020

Take a SIP with SPA! (Take a Shelter-In-Place with Saint Paul the Apostle!)

Dear SPA Family,
A friend of mine sent me this text on Easter Sunday while I was watching the televised Easter Sunday Mass celebrated by Cardinal Cupich. Frankly, I was unhappy the whole Holy day because I was unable to celebrate that joyous day with you and my family. I was also nostalgic because Easter dated my father’s 12th year of living in the heavenly home. So, you can imagine I was not a happy camper on the holiest and happiest day of the year.  Hence, this text kept me relatively sane the whole day of Easter :-)  I didn’t want to change it so here it is in its entirety: 
“The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship space with singing and praising.  On the very first Easter the disciples were locked in their house.  It was dangerous for them to come out.  They were afraid.  They wanted to believe the good news they had heard from the women, that Jesus was risen.  But it seemed too good to be true.  They were living in a time of such despair and such fear.  If they left their homes their lives and the lives of their loved ones might be at risk.  Could a miracle really have happened?  Could life really had won out over death?  Could this time of terror and fear really be coming to an end?   
Alone in their homes they dared to believe that hope was possible, that the long night was over, and morning had broken, that God’s love was the most powerful of all, even though it didn’t seem quite real yet.  Eventually, they were able to leave their homes, when the fear and danger had subsided, they went about celebrating and spreading the good news that Jesus was risen and love was the powerful force on the earth.
This year, we might get to experience a taste of what that original Easter was like, still in our homes daring to believe that hope is on the horizon.  Then, after a while, when it is safe for all people, when it is the most loving choice, we will come out, gathering together, singing and shouting the good news that God brings life even out of death, that love always has the final say!
This year we might get the closest taste we have had yet to what that first Easter was like.”
I think this text of unknown author (I googled it, but I couldn’t find the original author of it) can help us even now few days after Easter to relive the most important belief of our faith, that is; Jesus’ death and resurrection for the human race. And what is so amazing about Easter is the fact that every Sunday celebrates the first Easter. This ‘second’ Easter Sunday of the year, we worship God who is divinely compassionate, bends down to us sinners, heals our weakness, conquers all evil, and grants that all the peoples of the earth may experience His tender mercy. 
St. Faustina would like us to worship God on this Divine Mercy Sunday in a simple way. Just remember A B C: 

Ask for His mercy – God wants us to approach him in prayer, repenting of our sins and asking him to pour his mercy upon us and upon the whole world. 
Be merciful to others – God wants us to receive His mercy and extend mercy (love and forgiveness) to others just as he does to us. 
Complete trust in Jesus – God wants us to know that the graces of his mercy are dependent upon our trust in Him. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

May the Peace of our Merciful Lord be with you all.
We are the SPA Family and we are in this together!
Fr. Chris Ciastoń


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