Today marks the end of the Easter octave. This particular Sunday has been designated as Divine Mercy Sunday. It is an opportunity for us to again reflect on God’s merciful love. In today’s Gospel, we hear of the institution of the Sacrament of Penance as well as the famous story of doubting Thomas. Jesus offers the gift of the Holy Spirit to help the apostles discern their ministry of forgiving sins. In the latter days of Jesus’ ministry, he institutes three important sacraments: the Sacrament of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Sunday following the resurrection, and the Sacrament of Baptism as he gives the Apostles the Great Commission prior to his Ascension.
These three sacraments are the core of the Catholic Christian’s life. In many cases by the time we are ten years old, we have received all three sacraments. While baptism is received but once, we should frequent Eucharist and Reconciliation often. Both of these sacraments help us to deepen our relationship with the Lord and challenge us to become more like him.
On this day, I encourage you to reflect upon God’s mercy and love.