Bulletin Letter, Divine Mercy Sunday
I may have mentioned before that during my time in Rome, I studied with a number of seminarians from Australia. Living in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are the opposite of ours. Their Christmas celebrations, for example, often include a trip to the beach. And this time of year, they’re coming off of summer into the fall season.
I’m thankful that here in the Northern Hemisphere, as we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead and the new life He offers us through the mystery of His Resurrection, we also see and hear so much coming back to life in nature around us. We had some nice rain during the week. Hopefully that will help the green return to the grass and the trees. I’ve noticed people walking outside more often to take advantage of the warmer temperatures as well. I haven’t been out for any long bike rides yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
One thing that’s new more recently that you may or may not have noticed is a change to the conclusion of the opening Collect at Mass. The change took effect on Ash Wednesday and involved the deletion of just one word. The Collect has a longer conclusion than many of the other prayers. The conclusion with the deleted word struck out goes like this: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.”
The reason for the correction given by the Congregation for Divine Worship is that the original Latin does not include the word “one,” and the word for God in this instance, “Deus,” is not referring to all three Persons of God, in which case it might make some sense to also emphasize their oneness in Divinity. Instead, “God” is renaming the first one mentioned, namely, “our Lord Jesus Christ,” emphasizing the Divinity of the Son. Early heresies—specifically Arianism—failed to confess the full Divinity of Jesus, being of the same substance (sharing one divine nature, “consubstantial”) with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, so it is not surprising that prayers even from the first centuries would place special emphasis on Jesus’ Divinity.
With St. Thomas the Apostle, as we behold the Risen Christ and contemplate the five wounds He retains even in His glorified Body, we cry out, “My Lord and My God!” May the Divine Mercy continue to shine out upon us from Christ’s Most Holy Wounds.