April 19, 2020

A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER / DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY  – CYCLE “A” –

APRIL 19TH 2020  – SMG

 

+ Pax et Bonum!      Peace and goodness to you this day!

Today’s readings and Feast Day remind all of us that it is important for us to hear the whole story about things, especially about things that we really like, if we are to get a complete picture.  Do you know what I mean?  For example, we ALL like to have money in the bank.  It makes us feel safe and secure.  But for that to happen, we actually have to put money into the bank, and save, something that is not always easy for us to do.   We all like to have friends, people who care about us, and who support us, who be there for us, when we need them.  But the other part of the story, is that to have good friends, you have to be a good friend.   It’s true.   And finally,  we all like to be healthy, and look good, and take care of our bodies, and yet, we know if we spend all our time watching TV, and eating M&M’s, and the most exercise that we get, is when we go out to get the mail, that’s not going to be the way to a healthy lifestyle.  It just doesn’t work.  We need to know the whole story.

Today, we gather for Mass, on this Feast of Divine Mercy, and this Feast Day is ALL about God’s great love for each one of us.  This is Jesus Who died on that cross for each one of our souls.  And that is great news.  It is something that we should celebrate and rejoice over.  As we come to the Octave of Easter, we must, each one of us, realize the incredible thing that our God has done for us.  He has reconciled us to the Father, and given us the chance to get rid of our sins.  This is a merciful God!  And that’s the great news as we gather here today.  We love it.  We rejoice over it.  But wait, there’s more to the story.  And it would be very wrong for us today to celebrate Diving Mercy Sunday without talking about the whole story.

And the other part of the story is this:  We are called to be merciful towards one another!   We must forgive one another!   It’s easy to forget that part of the deal, isn’t it?   Jesus Himself said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Mt. 5:7.   That’s a non-negotiable part of God’s Divine Mercy.   You see, God’s love and mercy establishes each one of our relationships with Him, but it also unites us together, in what St. John Paul II used to call, “a fraternal solidarity”.   We are in this together.   And we do need to forgive one another.  And we do need each other.

Hasn’t that been one of the greatest lessons of the last several weeks, and the Pandemic?  We really do need each other!  No matter how independent we are, no matter how introverted we might consider ourselves, no matter how much time we might like to spend alone, the real truth is, that we need each other.   It’s the greatest challenge that we have faced, as Church, in these last few weeks!  How do we be Church, how do we do Church, and NOT be together around the Table of the Lord?   The Live-Streaming has been a God-send, but who among us is NOT looking forward to coming back to Mass.  There’s a strength in our coming together, a power, a unification that we hunger for and need as human beings.  Make no mistake about it, Jesus’ Divine Mercy, that we celebrate today re-unites us with God and brings us together as His people.

St. Thomas is our shining example of this in today’s Gospel.  God forgives and heals Thomas’s lack of Faith and unbelief.  We’ve got to remember, St.Thomas had been through a lot up to this point.   It is Divine Mercy that allows Thomas to have what he needs to believe and have faith.  But it is also His Divine Mercy that allows Thomas to “catch up” with the rest of the group of Apostles.    Thomas is healed of his grief and pain, and welcomed back into the group of Apostles.  And then by the end of this Gospel text, the Apostles, all of them, are given the important job of taking Jesus’ Divine Mercy out to the rest of the world.

For the past two thousand years, that has been the Church’s job.  To tell the whole story, all of the truth, of what our God wants and expects for us, His people!   As we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, let us make sure that we are both receiving His Divine Mercy and sharing it with others.  It is the way that God will heal our world, even today!

 

+  May God bless us, and keep us safe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                  AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…    Pray for us !!!