Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Past Messages

Deacon Ron Reflects on 20 years….
New Mass Times
Looking Back and Forward at 100
We Remember Our Freedoms
The Gift of Faith, from Frederick, Maryland
Entrusting Ourselves & Our Parish to Mary
Home in the Shade
Divine Mercy Sunday
Easter Joy
Spring Cleaning
March Madness and Fanaticism
No Man Is An Island
Start Hard but Finish Strong
Lent and the Annual Catholic Appeal!
Courage for Healing
Biggest Lie: Holy Moments
Authenticity and Holiness
Biggest Lie: Humanity and Happiness
Catholic Schools Week
At the Heart of a Promise Renewed
Faith to Move Mountains Update
20 + C + M + B + 19
As a Family We Confront Travails
The God Who Goes the Distance
The Lord is Near… Not sooo Fast!
CINO and the Reason for the Season
Expectation, Waiting and Hope
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Hospitality Multiplied
Earthly and Heavenly Fulfillment
Holiness, Purification and our Destiny
Friends in High Places & Friends on Mission
Creation and Givenness
Lepanto & Victory, the Rosary & the Abundant Life
Celebrating 100 Years and Creating a Strong Future
Two Paradoxes: Life Lost & Last Place
The Church is You!
Rhythm and the Buzz
Concrete Steps for Renewal
Abuse and Disgust meet Penance and Reparation
Sunday Homily delivered 19 August 2018 and Meditation and Melted Wax
PAPIT and the Jesus Prayer
Love Overflows in Generous Service
Food and Fasting
Pastors, Sheep and a Fishbowl
Gathered, Refreshed, Scattered
Independence Day and Local Greatness…
Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Lessons from Rome
April 28, 2019

Dear OLPH,

Happy Easter! That’s right. We are in the Octave of Easter. For 8 days (from Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday) the Church “holds us” in the moment of the Resurrection. “Octave” means 8 days. An octave is the Church’s way, liturgically, of extending our worship in one long Easter day. (Same is true for the Octave of Christmas.) Tomorrow (Monday of the Second Week of Easter) we move into the Easter Season, which lasts 50 days until Pentecost. So… Happy Easter!!

Based on the private revelation of Saint Faustina Kowalska, known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy, Pope Saint John Paul renamed today Divine Mercy Sunday. For nine days now, from Good Friday until today, those particularly devoted to our Lord’s Divine Mercy, have been praying a novena for the whole world. Each day of the novena a different group of people is presented to the Lord that He might shower them with his mercy. This afternoon from 2 to 3pm, those prayers conclude with adoration. Please come by and pray with us!

In 1980, just the second year of JPII’s pontificate, he wrote the encyclical, Dives in Misericordia , or, God Who is Rich in Mercy. There, he articulated that Jesus shows us the face of the merciful Father:

“Especially through His lifestyle and through His actions, Jesus revealed that love is present in the world in which we live - an effective love, a love that addresses itself to man and embraces everything that makes up his humanity. This love makes itself particularly noticed in contact with suffering, injustice and poverty - in contact with the whole historical "human condition," which in various ways manifests man's limitation and frailty, both physical and moral. It is precisely the mode and sphere in which love manifests itself that in biblical language is called "mercy.” (n.3)

After developing a beautiful meditation, JPII concludes, “For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love's second name and, at the same time, the specific manner in which love is revealed…” (n.7) The whole document is worthy of your attention. I love that: mercy is love’s second name!

We perceive this “second name of love” from the foot of the Cross, when Jesus says, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” We see mercy in Jesus’ promise, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Mercy’s face shines in Jesus’ dialogue with Peter, “Do you love me?.... Feed my lambs.” And the forgiveness of our loving Father is on full display today in the Upper Room, when Jesus appears in their midst despite the locked doors and repeats “Peace be with you….Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” and breathing the Holy Spirit upon them, imparts the power to forgive and retain sins: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

The power and reality of this moment are unmistakable. These men who abandoned Jesus at the cross, those who were unfaithful (except John), are now given the power and responsibility to serve as instruments of forgiveness in the world. Those whose faults and failings are laid bare are commissioned to be missionaries of mercy. Sinners, sent out to share God’s forgiveness with the world.  Such is the mercy of God! And such is the power and responsibility of the priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Happy Easter! Blessed Sunday of Mercy!

Fr. Wilson