" “When we feel like trash, Jesus comes to us as he did to the apostles and says, ‘Peace be with you.’” "
Beyond monumental, beyond big, Easter is too much to celebrate in just a single day. That was the message April 9 from a joyful Archbishop Alexander Sample during a livestreamed talk from his home chapel.

Noting that stores immediately put away or discount Easter items on Easter Monday, the archbishop explained that for Christians, Easter lasts a full seven weeks.

He suggested that from now until Pentecost western Oregon Catholics greet others with “Happy Easter” or, as the Eastern church has it, “Christ is risen. Alleluia.”

“Let’s keep the spirit of the Easter season fully alive,” the archbishop said.

Gospel readings in the first days of the Easter season focus on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. The archbishop said that we can be confident that the Resurrection is real because the apostles and disciples would never have suffered and died for a made-up story.

“Have faith that Jesus is alive,” the archbishop said.

The second Sunday of Easter, now also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, emphasizes what is really the good news, said Archbishop Sample: “God is rich in mercy. His mercy is for us and his mercy knows no limits.”

In the Gospel reading for Divine Mercy Sunday, Jesus appears to the frightened and guilty apostles, wishes peace on them and then gives the sacrament of penance, allowing his followers to release or retain sin. The archbishop called confession the greatest of gifts.

“When we feel like trash, Jesus comes to us as he did to the apostles and says, ‘Peace be with you.’”

The archbishop reported that Mass attendance was “way up” at parishes across western Oregon on Easter Sunday.