#MyMassTakeaway: Surrender (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Today’s the 2nd Sunday in Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday.

Find the Mass Readings here: Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8, 2018

My takeaway:

Oh, the faith of the early Christians.

In the first reading, we see the first Christians living a life of complete surrender. The reading tells of the members of the early Church turning everything over to the apostles. They gave up all of their possessions, to be distributed as needed.

They gave, not only their trust, not only their belief, not only their faith, but everything they owned. And they trusted in the Church – ultimately, in God – to take care of everything.

I admire the early Christians.

#MyMassTakeaway Surrender.png

As our family is preparing to pack up all our belongings and make a move, I want to be more like the early Christians. I want to have this same faith and trust in God.

Instead, I’m clinging.

I’m clinging to my comfort zone. I’m clinging to my familiar streets, my friends, my parish, my neighborhood. I’m clinging to the support of my family living right next door.

I don’t want to let go. I don’t want to live in uncertainty. I don’t want to surrender.

But, in this first reading, I hear Christ calling me to surrender. I hear Him reminding me that His Church is universal. That my Home is in His heart.

This stage in our life reminds me that I’m on a journey, that this earth is not my home. It’s forcing me to let go of all the things I cling to. To surrender all to God. To hold on to Heaven.

That’s where my heart needs to be.

I’m just scared, that’s all.

In the Responsorial Psalm, we read “My Lord is my strength and my courage.” I have no strength right now. I have no courage. I’m giving into fear.

I’ve lived on the same road my entire life. I don’t feel brave about leaving it, about venturing out into the unknown.

But the response reminds me I don’t need to be brave. The Lord will be brave for me. He will provide strength and courage. I don’t need to do it myself.

We go on to pray, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I felt these words speak straight to my heart. I’m busy living in the future in fear, and giving in to anxiety.

It’s time to reign myself back in. To live in the present. To have joy in my friends and family and parish and neighborhood today. Today is a gift from God, and I can’t waste it by living in the future.

But I don’t have to ignore the future. I can plan, I can search for rentals, I can pack. But I don’t have to imagine my fears playing out. I don’t have to start missing my family and friends already. I don’t have to live like we’re gone – not yet, anyway.

I can rejoice in the tasks of this day.

In the Gospel, Jesus showed up and announced, “Peace be with you.” He showed the apostles His wounds and repeated, “Peace be with you.”

I’d like to say His peace washed over me. It didn’t.

But His words challenged me. They called me to return to Him. To ground myself in Him and surrender all my cares and anxieties to Him.

I wondered why He was showing me His wounds. What is it about His suffering and death that inspires faith. It’s the fact that His Passion was followed by the Resurrection. That the darkness was followed by the life. He didn’t just die, but He rose again.

But we don’t just ignore His suffering and death. Those wounds remain eternally in His glorified body. They remain as a sign of His love. His grace flows from His wounds. By His wounds we are healed. We can trust Him. We can surrender to Him.

And after the suffering, comes healing. Resting close to His heart, we find joy.

This move, this transition, this time in my life is an opportunity for me to renew my faith. To live more fully in God’s love and His mercy.

It’s an opportunity for me to detach from the things of this world. To surrender my comfort zone. It’s time for me to embrace the small sufferings that come with change, and trust God to provide for my needs – physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

God, help me to surrender all to You.

I turn it all over, like the early Christians.

Help me to trust in Your mercy and Your love. Help me to have faith in Your divine plan. Let me see the bigger picture – that this is a step in my journey toward Heaven.

Renew my sense of belonging to the universal Church. Deepen my faith and my love for You.

Be my strength and my courage in our time of transition.

Amen.

Thoughts from my blogging friends:

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As Mass was beginning this morning, the two middle-aged women in front of me were laughing quietly and moving back and forth in the pews. My inner annoyance bristled. I was ready to judge them, to be grumpy about their irreverence. . "Lord, thank you for having them come to Mass today." . I don't know where that thought came from. It certainly didn't come from me in my place of judgment. But the Lord put that thought in my mind. . The church was a bit emptier this week than it was last week. I realized that I lament each year about the lack of retainment from Easter Sunday to Divine Mercy, but what do I do when I see people who don't meet my idea of reverence? Judge. . I decided to change that today. Instead, I thanked Him for those who were there, especially when they distracted me. . Lord, thank you for getting the family with the chatty child to Mass today. Thank you for the old women who interrupted the second reading to climb across to the middle of the pew who decided to go to Mass. Thank you for allowing everyone who cut me off in the parking lot take the time out of their busy lives to worship you. . "The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common." – Acts 4:32 . . #mymasstakeaway #divinemercy #divinemercysunday #mercy #Jesus #merciful #nojudgment #catholic #catholicchurch #evangelization #welcoming #mass #sundaymass #church #parishioner #congregation #actsoftheapostles #sundayreadings #essfam #bissisterhood #spokenbride #catholicsonline #zeliecreates #gloriam #gloriammarketing #amdg #forHisgreaterglory

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Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! In today's readings, we hear that early Christians were all of one heart and mind. Friends, there are around 35,000 Christian denominations. That certainly doesn't seem like one heart and mind! This is clearly not what Christ intended for His Church. Before I continue, I want to say that I know this is a touchy subject and that some of my Protestant followers may not like what I have to say. I hope you will read what I have to say with an open mind and know that I love you as my brothers and sisters in Christ. But I also love Christ, and it is my responsibility to be obedient to Him. In the Gospel reading, we learn that Jesus gave certain powers and responsibilities to the apostles. He made them the first bishops. As Catholics, we can trace our bishops back through the history of the Church and observe apostolic succession. Cardinal Newman said "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." He was a Catholic convert. He started off researching the Catholic Church to disprove it as the one, holy, catholic (aka universal), apostolic Church. His research changed his mind. My priest gave a really good example in his homily on this. Parents wouldn't leave their small children home alone to fend for themselves until they came home. They would have someone there. Jesus is infinitely more wise, more loving, etc. He didn't leave us alone while we wait for His return. He gave us His Church guided by the Holy Spirit to protect the truths and guide the faithful. As Christians, let's strive for unity and return to that image of one heart and mind. #MyMassTakeaway with @tojesussincerely #Catholic #Christian #catholicblogger #Christianblogger #FaithBlogger #lovetheword

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The whole story of salvation history is one of man learning to trust God. CCC 397 says “Man, tempted by the devil, let his TRUST in his Creator die in his heart…” And since then, the Israelites and God’s people throughout history have struggled with this same question: Do I trust God? It’s much easier for me to say “Jesus I trust in You” than to LIVE my trust in Him. I’m constantly trying to make my words and actual belief and actions sync. This might be why Divine Mercy Sunday is one of my absolute favorite feasts of the year. (My husband and I were actually married on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday and my first daughter was baptized Divine Mercy Sunday, so I really really love this feast.) Divine Mercy Sunday reminds me that God’s Mercy is SO overflowing, so shockingly available to me. I just have to accept it. I just have to TRUST in Him. Jesus said to St. Faustina, “If your trust is great, my generosity will be without limit.” WITHOUT LIMIT. That’s amazing! But first, I have to have great trust. (I’ll start by trusting that this 41+ week baby WILL come out soon 🙃.) #mymasstakeaway #41weekspregnant #mysundaybest

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#MyMasstakeaway "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is everlasting "! What a wonderful Responsorial Psalm for Divine Mercy Sunday. Not only am I thankful for God's mercy, I'm thankful for the incredible gift of the loving people He has placed in my life. In particular, I am so thankful for Carrie (probably more than words can describe). Carrie has been our neighbor for 12 years, but I met her last year. She knocked on my door after her sister sent me a message about her wanting to "help someone as pro-life as you". Carrie offered to cuddle the babies during the week so I could get housework or writing or really anything done. I don't know if I would have survived this year without her. She was the first to come help me when I was sick. She's put in more hours a week at this house than I can count. When she walks in the room the babies leap with joy and run to her! Carrie and I definitely feel God's hand has played a role in this amazing gift. She's a living Saint. Thank you Lord for sending her to us and THANK YOU Carrie for your incredible gift of self, week after week and for your friendship. May the Lord bless you abundantly this year and many years to come!!!!

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Would you stay? That's what He wants to hear from us…. Would you stay? On the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-45), even though Jesus seemed to have to go further, the two disciples asked Him to stay, and He did…. He dined with them and when He broke the bread they recognized Him …oh, Good Lord, every time we go to mass is like the road to Emmaus! – Inspiring words from today's homily. What an awesome celebration today, Divine Mercy Sunday! What a gift, what a gift…! And just to make it all better, the homily was so awesome as well. We have to take advantage of the Divine Mercy, our Lord is so awesome , He comes and meets us right there where we stand, comes to us and ALL that he wants is for us to accept Him, to let Him in our hearts. This is crazy, He is crazy… crazy in love… He wants you eyelash to eyelash, reconciling and receiving His peace. I hope and pray we can always recognize and benefit from the infinite divine mercy! Jesus, I trust in you! +++ #divinemercy #divinemercysunday #jesusitrustinyou #roadtoemmaus #luke #thewordofgod #drawclosertogod #lovegod #godinspired #openjourney #religiousart #christianart #catholicartist #faith #ingridblixt #TB2G #MyMasstakeaway

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A sweet friend gave me this (and had a Mass said for our family!!) to remember the babies. 💕 General revelation is silent on the fate of unbaptized babies. The catechism says: "The Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God… Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," allows us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without baptism. (CCC 1261) At first glance, to the grieving parent, this can sound a little hollow. We want black and white answers. In a time of such fear and uncertainty, we want something firm to hold onto. That's why I'm so thankful for Divine Mercy Sunday. Instituted by Pope St John Paul II (Karol's namesake!), this is a special day to celebrate the abundant mercies of God. There is nothing more real, more firm than God's mercy!

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Your turn:

I want to know your Mass Takeaway too! Comment with your thoughts on the readings, your pastor’s homily, or anything that struck you during your time at Mass.

#MyMassTakeaway - thoughts and reflections on Divine Mercy Sunday

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