I hope that everyone had a very Blessed and Happy Easter! And now we celebrate the Eastertide, the 50 days of the Easter season. Easter isn’t just one day of celebration but an entire liturgical season to celebrate! A great family activity to celebrate the Easter season is The Garden of the Good Shepherd: A Sticker Calendar to Count the Fifty Days of Easter by Peter Mazar (and illustrated by Tomie dePaola). Each day from Easter to Pentecost there is a bible verse, sticker and small reflection for the day. At the end of each week you can have a Good Shepherd’s Garden Party!
Yesterday we celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. The message of the Divine Mercy is simple. It’s that God loves us – all of us. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive his mercy, and let it flow through us to others. I finished reading 33 Days to Merciful Love (which was excellent and I highly recommend) and made my consecration to Divine Mercy yesterday. As a family we prayed the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy Novena in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday. For dessert we had Divine Mercy sundaes and Mary and I made a heart-shaped brownie decorated with Jesus’ rays of mercy.
And today we celebrate the The Annunciation – when the Angel Gabriel announced to the young virgin Mary that she had been chosen by God to bear His only Son so that He may save the world.
Normally The Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th (9 months before Christmas – the birth of Jesus). But since March 25th fell on Good Friday this year, the Solemnity of the Annunciation was moved to today, the first day outside the Easter Octave.
A traditional food for this day is waffles. “Lady Day” or Annunciation, is the only feast of Mary that Sweden still celebrates since the Lutheran faith became the state religion in 1593. In most of Europe, waffles are a traditional feast day food, but on the feast of the Annunciation in Sweden this is THE “Waffle Day” (Vaffeldagen), where waffles are served either for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So, waffles for dinner it is!
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. ~Luke 1: 26-38