A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER (DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY) CYCLE “C” – 4/3/16 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We’ve all had the experience before of missing out on something that we would have liked to experience. Many times, they are little things, like missing out on our favorite TV show, or like missing out on a sale at our favorite store, or like going to bed before the big game, or the big race, was over, only to wake up the next morning and find out that the team that was losing, actually came back and won the game. You feel bad when these things happen. You wish that you would have been able to see it. And then there are those much bigger times when you miss out on something much more important. For example when you are traveling for work and you’re on the other side of the country, when your child is born early. Or, when you go in to accept a new job, and while you’re signing the papers and accepting the new job, the people you really want to work for, call and offer you their job. Or, maybe the toughest one of all, when you are trying to make it home to see a loved one before they die, and you just don’t make it. Sometimes, it is heart-breaking to miss out on really important things.
That’s got to be the way that poor St. Thomas felt on that first Easter, when he is not with the other Apostles. And the Risen Jesus appears to the other ten Apostles, and Thomas misses out. This was big. This was a huge mess-up! They didn’t know whether or not they would see Jesus again. Was it a one-time thing? Had Thomas just missed his only chance of ever seeing, the Risen Jesus? For that entire week, it must have seemed so. And then of course, Thomas, is our doubter. Thomas doubted everything! He couldn’t believe just based upon what the other ten Apostles experienced. He had to touch the Risen Christ. He had to see Him. He had to have the experience. And maybe, just maybe, he had missed his one, incredible opportunity to do so. Mercifully, God gave St. Thomas another opportunity. And this time he was there! And this time he did see, and touch, and speak to the Risen Jesus! And he did believe! In fact, St. Thomas would go on to lay down his life as a martyr, for what he believed in!
My brothers and sisters, so many times we miss out on incredible opportunities with God. And many of those times, it’s our fault! We’re distracted. We’re too busy. We’re not there. We’re not paying attention. We don’t discern. We don’t show up. We don’t believe enough! And many times, just like with St. Thomas, God does give us additional chances. Thank God! Divine Mercy is real. It saved St. Thomas’ soul! It is saving our souls too. But, isn’t it time we quit missing out on the opportunities that God keeps giving us?
How many moments of grace have we missed? How many opportunities to serve and make a difference have we blown? How many Masses, and time in Adoration, and prayers, and Confessions, have we failed to take advantage of? How many times have we turned down that call to go to Christ Renews His Parish, or Cursillo, or make another retreat or day of recollection, or pilgrimage, or even Holy Hour? How many times have turned down that opportunity to help in the Food Pantry, or at the Spring Fling, or at the Italian Festival? Guys, we can’t keep missing these special opportunities, these “God” moments. For when we miss them, we just never know when we are missing encountering the Risen Christ!
God’s Divine Mercy works so well. It will save our souls. But we’ve got to give it the chance to work in our lives. We’ve got to make the space, the time, the opportunity for God to go to work inside of us. Like St. Thomas, we must do whatever we need to do, to have Faith. Even if it means getting our hands dirty. Faith is worth it. God has done His part so that we might be saved. Let us now do our part, so that we too can experience the Risen Lord and His love and peace!
May God bless us as we continue to celebrate Easter!
+ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!