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Weekend Homilies
A listing of recent homilies delivered at my parish.
Una lista de homilías recientes entregadas en mi parroquia.
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  • Pub Date: Apr 19, 2020 - 6:00 am
  • 04-19-2020 - Divine Mercy Sunday
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    John 20:19
    Write:
    On the evening of that first day of the week…
    Reflect:
    So, here we are still on Easter Sunday, as far as the gospel reading is concerned. We are back in the upper room where Jesus only a few days earlier instituted the Eucharist. Now he comes to institute another of the Sacraments. “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
    This is important for us to remember not just because it reveals the Sacrament of Confession, or Reconciliation, but because it reveals why Pope Saint John Paul established this day as Divine Mercy Sunday.
    As a bit of a side comment, I want to make a confession. Before I was ordained, hearing confessions was the one thing I was most worried about. I cannot remember now why I was so concerned, but I remember I was very leery about the responsibility involved in this work of the priest. But, I have found some of the greatest joys of my priesthood in this sacrament.
    For reasons of the seal of the confessional, I cannot go into more detail. But it is actually a joy to experience with other people the lifting of the weight of sin from their hearts. There is something very mystical about the words “I absolve you of your sins…” I have felt it on a number of occasions when a brother priest has spoken those words to me. I know it has touched a number of other people when I have spoken those words.
    These are not words that have no effect. No, they are among the words of priest speaks that have an eternal effect. They are words that are backed up by the commission of Jesus himself: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
    Apply:
    Here on Divine Mercy Sunday, we are asked to remember again the salvific work of Jesus that he completed with his Resurrection, or rather with his Ascension. We are called, each of us, to be ministers of his mercy. Yes, priests are called to that in a sacramental way through the power of Reconciliation. But everyone who wears the name of Christ is called to also be a minister of mercy.
    I cannot think of any better way to accomplish this ministry of mercy than what Jesus gave us through Saint Faustina with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Think of the words addressed to the Father in the Chaplet: “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
    This, in some ways, is a very Eucharistic prayer. “I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son…” This is, from one perspective, exactly what the priest does at every Mass. This is what you are doing every time you pray the Chaplet.
    Then you begin to invoke the mercies won for us by Jesus on the cross: “For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” And this, then, returns us to the gospel today where Thomas has invited to touch the wounds of Christ.
    This is something I would like you all to begin doing. Reflect during this Easter season on the wounds of Christ. Not the bloodied painful wounds as Jesus received them on the cross, but the scars and wounds that remain on the resurrected Christ. These are proof of his mercy. These are proof of his divinity. These are proof of the infinite nature of his love. These are proof that he is not ashamed of our need for mercy, or of his willingly giving everything he could to give us that mercy. Finally, these are proof that our Savior lives.
    What more can we offer him? The Chaplet of Divine Mercy reveals God’s perfect actions for the sake of his people. His mercy led himself to offer himself in atonement for the whole world and all its sin. Unfortunately not everyone will receive that, because of their own decision to not accept the offer of his mercy. So our prayers need to go up asking that the barriers that keep others from him will drop, so that they will receive his message of mercy and draw near to an all holy God.
    Lastly, I would like to describe to you how I personally pray the Chaplet. The first decade, I pray – selfishly – for myself. The second decade, I pray for my immediate family. The third decade, I pray for my brother priests. The fourth decade, I pray for you – my parishioners. The fifth decade, I pray for the world, or more specifically, for the church in the world.
    If you would like, I would suggest you have different intentions for each of the five decades of the chaplet. You can choose whichever you would like. It is all good prayer.
    Pray/Praise:
    Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
    For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
    Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.
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