Second Sunday of Easter

“Happy Easter!”…is what we wished people one week ago. We all likely felt the joy and hope that Easter Day brings, especially if we met with family and experienced beautiful, moving liturgies during Holy Week. Rightfully so, for Christ is risen! We have new life! Alleluia! So what do we do with this new life in Eastertide? Do we keep on smiling for fifty days until Pentecost? Do we just indulge ourselves with the treats and luxuries we surrendered for Lent?

Jesus answers these questions by what He said when He appeared to the Apostles: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). In other words – we have work to do! Jesus’ work is one of mercy, and in addition to His redemptive Passion, He was merciful when He healed people, ate with sinners, and comforted the mourning. Jesus is sending us into the world to be merciful as He is, particularly towards the poor, the unbelievers, the despairing, the outcasts, and even those who’ve hurt us most. The Resurrection empowered the early Christians to care for those around them so there was “no needy person among them” (Acts 4:34). As we faithfully keep God’s commandments and follow His mission for us, we win “a victory that conquers the world” (1 John 5:4) and all its sorrows, evils, and suffering it gives us!

As we celebrate during these fifty days, let’s also remember that the risen Christ gives us the strength to overcome sin and everything that keeps us from loving our neighbor. Ask God how you can show mercy this Easter, whether it’s reconciling with someone or serving the community. Let’s fight evil with Christ’s mercy…through the joy and strength that only His risen, eternal life can bring! Alleluia!