Second Chances

As the Church’s liturgy sings today, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.” This is the greatest of all days because Christ is risen. Because of His resurrection the history of humanity has been rewritten and we have been reconciled with God. The doors of heaven have swung open and we are given entrance into paradise. I have prayed for you and your loved ones during this holy season. May all of us enjoy the peace of the Risen Lord!

Can you imagine what the apostles were feeling before Jesus appeared to them on Easter Sunday? They probably were wondering what the Lord would say to them. They had abandoned Him at His crucial hour because they were afraid for their own lives. Even Peter who had professed his loyalty to Jesus had denied Him three times. Judas had betrayed Him. Even though they knew how readily He forgave sinners, they were concerned.

There is an old story that goes like this. After meeting the Risen Lord, Mary Magdalene comes to the disciples to bring them the good news. She says to Peter and the others: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the Lord is indeed alive. I have seen Him. The bad news – Jesus has been asking where all of you have been the last three days.” The behavior of the disciples during the last three days of Jesus’ life showed that they were weak, human beings just like us.

When Jesus finally appeared to them in the upper room, His message was simple. “Peace be with you,” He said. “I give you peace that the world cannot give.” Jesus offered them peace that comes from forgiveness. He erased their past and invited them to step into a new future. They could begin again. The Lord once again proved that He is the God of second chances.

He certainly gave a second chance to Peter. If He were just like us, He would have said to the first apostle: “Peter, you let me down. I called you rock but you proved that you were nothing but sand. You are not going to be my vicar. I will give that title to John who remained faithful to the end and stood at the foot of the cross.” Instead, all that the Master had to ask His fallen disciple was a simple question: “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Fully aware of his own failure, Peter responded with heartfelt sincerity, “Lord, you know that I love You.” Jesus persisted in His choice of Peter as the head of the Church.

Easter is all about hope. That hope springs from the constancy of this God’s love that offers us second chances. When the gospels were written, persecution was already raging against the early Christians. Some of them fell away from the faith. Probably some faithful Christians wondered how it was possible that some had denied their faith. The gospel writers offered hope because even the apostles had failed and yet the Lord had reinstated them. The God of Jesus is the God of second chances.

Next Sunday we will be celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. In this holy season of mercy, it is important to recall the boundless mercy of our God Who gave us His Son as our Redeemer. I invite our parishioners to go to St John Brebeuf who will be offering confessions and conduct the special celebration. As pastors of this area we have agreed that if one parish offers a special devotion we would encourage our parishioners to participate there instead of duplicating it.

Let us rejoice in our God Who continues to offer us His mercy and forgiveness. He gives us not only two but many, many chances. He knows that we are weak and we fall. Let us thank Him for His unfailing love. Let our churches resound with alleluias because the Lord is risen and we have reason to hope.

May the joy and peace of Easter fill your hearts and homes!

Mission Statement: As children of God, living in a Catholic community of faith, we are united by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Aware that all we have is gift and grace from our Heavenly Father, we strive to give of our time, talent and treasure to build His kingdom on earth. We live this mission, challenged by the Word, nurtured by the Sacraments, and enlivened by the Spirit, to serve our brothers and sisters in peace, justice and dignity. All are welcome on this journey.

Liturgical Schedule


   Monday through Friday

   8:30 am - Upper Church


   4:30 pm - Upper Church


   7:30 am - Upper Church

   9:00 am - HFC

   9:30 am - Gym

   10:30 am - Upper Church

   12:00 pm - Gym


   1st and 3rd Friday

   after 8:30 am Mass

   (must attend Mass first)



   3-4 pm - Upper Church


   8-9 am - Upper Church

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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

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Phone: (847) 825-7605

Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday

8:30 am - Upper Church


4:30 pm (vigil) - Upper Church


7:30 am - Upper Church

9:00 am - Holy Family Chapel

9:30 am - Gym

10:30 am - Upper Church

12:00 pm - Gym