A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY – CYCLE “C” – 4/28/19
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Where was St. Thomas? Doesn’t this story make you just want to know! I mean, apparently all the other Apostles were there. And remember by this time, they were down to eleven, and so without Thomas, there would have been only ten that saw Jesus that morning. What was St. Thomas doing on that Sunday morning that was so important that he missed out on seeing the resurrected Jesus? Was he working? Was he playing golf? Was he with people who weren’t religious? Was he washing his camel? Was he sleeping in? The truth is, we don’t know what St. Thomas was doing or where he was at. What we do know is that he wasn’t with the other Apostles and he misses out on seeing Jesus!
So the very first lesson that we take from this Gospel story, on our Second Sunday of Easter, and Divine Mercy Sunday, is that sometimes it is just really important to show up. St. Thomas was really blessed. A week later, Our Lord would give him another chance and show up again. But we don’t always get second chances. Sometimes, it is just really important for us to be there. Maybe it’s visiting a sick friend or relative, while we can visit them, before it’s too late. Maybe it’s being there when someone really needs us, or they really need our specific talents or gifts for a given situation. Maybe it’s just being there with the right information or the right truth, so that someone or some group can make the right decision. Sometimes we need to just go to where we’re supposed to be, knowing that when we get there, God will use for some purpose.
And this includes, going to Mass. You know, We the Church says that as Catholic Christians we need to go to Mass every Sunday. We’re pretty good at that, around here at St. Maria Goretti. We have one of the highest rates of Mass attendance in the Diocese. But we can always be better! Many times, what we don’t know, is that we need to go to Mass every weekend, because we never know when God has a special plan for us that will be revealed in the community, as we are gathered around the Altar, when we’re at Mass. If we were not here, we’d miss out! What if we weren’t here, and missed that plan? You never know when God has a special message that He wants to communicate to us. And so many times that is going to happen when we are at Mass. What if we missed God’s call because we weren’t here to hear it! Look at what poor St. Thomas missed out on, all because he didn’t go that Sunday morning of the Resurrection! Would you want to miss the resurrected Jesus?
And the second lesson that we want to learn from St. Thomas is that sometimes it takes courage and a willingness to reach out and get your hands dirty, to experience the Risen Jesus Christ. So, it’s a week later, and the Risen Jesus appears again, and this time St. Thomas is there. And Jesus tells St. Thomas to do what he needs to, to believe. And St. Thomas has to have the courage to reach out, and put his finger into the nail holes on Jesus’ hands and feet, and his hand into his side. It’s really kinda gross. But that’s what St. Thomas needed to believe! In so many ways, that’s what St. Thomas need to become St. Thomas! And he did it! That took some courage. And he did have to get his hands dirty. But he did it!
What is God asking you to do, in order to have Faith? Whatever it is, you and I also must have courage to reach right in there AND to get our hands dirty with whatever God asks of us, if it is truly going to bring us to Faith! This week, what do you need to do, to have more Faith? Need to pray more? Need to go to Confession? Need to help your brothers or sisters in need? Whatever it is, do it! Have courage! And don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
This weekend we are celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Thomas’ experience is perfect advice for all of us, as experience Jesus’ mercy and love. Divine Mercy is there for all of us, every single day! But we do have to avail ourselves to it, we’ve got to be there. And we need the courage and fortitude to live in that mercy every day! May God give us everything that we need to live that way this week!
+ And may God bless us all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!