Before the 2nd Vatican Council in the 1960s, the bible readings at Mass were always the same. Each year on a particular Sunday, you heard the exact same readings from the previous year. After the Council, the Church decided the people should hear more and different readings. Therefore, a three year cycle began with the readings being repeated only once every three years. However, there were some exceptions, and the 2nd Sunday of Easter is one. While the first and second readings are different each year, the gospel is always the same. It is the story of doubting Thomas who serves as a role model when we have some questions about our faith (Jn 20:19-31). But it is preceded by Jesus giving the disciples the power and authority to forgive sins. It is the scriptural basis for our Lord instituting the sacrament of Penance, Confession, or Reconciliation. Also, the Responsorial Psalm is the same each year as it deals with the Lord’s love, mercy and compassion. It is a perfect complement to the Lord’s forgiveness in the sacrament of penance.
If you did not have the opportunity to go to confession before Easter, now is a good time to take advantage of the Lord’s love and mercy which endures for ever. The sacrament is available from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the church. If you are not able to come then, please call the parish office, and I will be happy to make an appointment for you to experience Jesus’ compassion and mercy.
“Our Bishop has said that every morning we must offer as a
sacrif ice all we shall have to suffer during the day; and that if
God does not send any suffering, the merit of the sacri fice
well be there all the same.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars
“INSIDE OUR SACRED SPACE”
During the Mass, the priest represents Our Lord Jesus, persona Christi, and thus the priest’s chair is distinguishable from the other seats in the church. The chair is not designed as the place for a king: it is not a royal throne, not palatial, but it is easily differentiated from other chairs in the sanctuary and recognized as the place for the one who leads the congregation. The chair is always placed so to be seen from the nave. “The chair of the priest celebrant must signify his office of presiding over the gathering and directing the prayer” (GIRM, No. 310).
***This article “Inside Our Sacred Space” was originally published in the OSV Newsweekly, www. OSV.com, on January 8-14, 2017 and is used with permission of the author D.D. Emmons. ***