This Sunday concludes the Octave of Easter. An octave is a celebration of eight days in the Church and each day is honored liturgically in the same way as the day in which the octave began, in this case Easter Sunday. Following the reforms of Vatican II, only two octaves remain in the ordinary form of the Churches liturgical calendar: Easter and Christmas. While the octave may be finishing, the joy of the Easter Season continues on. I want to offer a special welcome to those who joined the Church and our parish at the Easter Vigil: Jordan, through Baptism, and Darren, Janet, & Katie through reception with the Profession of Faith. I wish to thank all those who helped to get that joy starts in our liturgical celebration of the Easter Triduum; thank you to our readers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, ushers, and servers. Finally, a big thank you to our Cathedral choir and musicians for the tremendous work they put into our Triduum liturgies; the music was truly wonderful!
While the Church focuses on the faithful departed in a special way in November, I am also especially mindful of those from our parish community who have gone before us in faith as we celebrate this season of the Resurrection. I would ask you to please remember Kathy Dhabalt in your prayers. Kathy is the mother of Vicki Compton who serves on our parish staff. Kathy’s funeral Mass was celebrated at Christ the King this past Tuesday. I would also ask you to please remember Jim Graham in your prayers. Jim’s funeral Mass was celebrated at Blessed Sacrament this past Thursday. He was the principal architect during the Cathedral’s restoration project back in 2008-2009 and his work here endures as a beautiful testament to the glory of God.
The Gospel for this weekend, the Second of Sunday of Easter, is popularly known as the Gospel of Doubting Thomas. Here our Lord appears to Thomas, and the other ten Apostles, and invites Thomas to see and probe his wounds so that Thomas might believe that the Lord is truly risen and that he is who he says he is. While the Lord’s body has been changed and glorified, the wounds from his crucifixion remain. Theologians have marveled over this reality for 2,000 years and posed various reasons as to why. As in the case of St. Thomas the Apostle, the wounds identify the Lord for who is but they also tell us what death is no longer; death is no longer an eternal reality for those who live and die in God’s friendship. The marks of the Lord’s death remain but, but death has no power over him, and through him neither over us. St. Leo the great says it more eloquently in a homily on the Lord’s Passion: He did away with the everlasting character of death so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity.
As we continue our journey through this Easter Season, let us turn to the risen Lord to draw newness of life from him, remembering that the wounds and the scars of our present lives, painful as they may be, are only things of the here and now; in the Resurrection on the last day, when Christ makes us new, those things will be no more.
Father Christopher House is the Rector of the Cathedral and serves in various roles within the diocesan curia, namely Chancellor and Vicar Judicial.
Divine Mercy Sunday
On Divine Mercy Sunday, April 28th, the Cathedral will host devotions in honor of the day. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will begin at Noon. Confessions will be available from Noon until 3PM with three confessors available during that time. At 3PM, the hour of Divine Mercy, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be celebrated as will the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. All are welcome!