The Eighth Day

In the oldest liturgical document in existence—attributed to the Apostles, The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles—where the Apostles were setting the feasts for the new Church, St. Thomas writes: “After eight days (following the Resurrection feast), let there be another feast observed with honor, the eighth day itself, on which he gave me, Thomas, who was hard of belief, full assurance, by showing me the print of the nails and the wound made in his side by the spear.”

One of the greatest Doctors of the Church, St Gregory of Nazianzus, declares that the Octave Day of Easter is as great a feast as Easter itself, yet without ever taking anything away from the greatness of the Resurrection Day itself.  This Octave Day is the fulfillment of what Easter is all about—the perfect life in eternity, a second creation more admirable and greater than the first.

Looking at the promise that Jesus made for the Feast of Mercy, Jesus said: “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.  On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow.  Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary §699).  Isn’t this the grace that St. Gregory was referring to: “perfect life in eternity”?  When we are first baptized, all of our sins and punishment are washed away.  If we were to die immediately after Baptism, we would go straight to heaven.  Isn’t this the Easter gift that Jesus wants us all to have on his Feast of Divine Mercy?   If Easter is the world’s greatest feast, then shouldn’t the world’s greatest feast offer us the world’s greatest gift, a renewal of Baptismal grace?

Read the whole explanation here

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