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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 11, 2021
  • 04-11-2021 - Divine Mercy Sunday
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    1 John 5:4-5
    Write:
    … whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
    Reflect:
    There are two points I would like to make this weekend. The first is that this is Divine Mercy Weekend. The second is that believing is an important part of both our second reading and our gospel. But you know I cannot stop with just that!
    In fact, I believe these are very closely related. And I am going to dare to make a strong declaration: I believe that the combination of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet will be the one-two punch that will tear down the spiritual strongholds that are so destructive in our current society.
    First, I want to look at the Divine Mercy devotion. As we approach this devotion with reverence and anticipation of the fulfillment of the promises in the prayers, I believe we are doing serious battle with the forces of evil that are arrayed against God’s holy people. Think about the simple prayer that we pray fifty times in the Chaplet: “for the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world”.
    I have a hard time imagining any stronger prayer, other than the prayer that Jesus gave us in the Our Father. It is our belief in the power of the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that enables us to face any and all battles that try to tear us away from God. And it is because of the passion that he underwent that he has mercy on us so that we know even when we fail in our own battles, we have his mercy and we can expect to be restored to his grace.
    The other part of the one-two punch is the Rosary. Going through the life of Christ, his suffering and death, his resurrection and glory as we go through all of the mysteries reminds us of what God has chosen to do by coming among us. This is the most important event of all history, and yet there are those who want to minimize the importance of what Jesus chose to do, of what God chose to do.
    Meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy helps us in MAGNIFICENT ways to live in the faith that conquers the world, as St. John said in the second reading.
    Now let me move to my second point by repeating this line from John. “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” We hear in the gospel today of Thomas – not doubting Thomas but believing Thomas. I think that is the point of the gospel story! Thomas is the first one to say to Jesus “my Lord and my God!”
    Yes, some demons did try to make a declaration about Jesus being the son of God. But Jesus silenced them. He was dismissing them on more than one level. First, he was not going to accept any homage from demons. Second, he was not going to let them distort his mission. Third, he was entering into a battle with them even then and there. This battle took him through his passion. “For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
    I am convinced that the Catholic Church has become a sleeping warrior. We are supposed to be in the front lines of the spiritual battles. Instead, we spend so much of our time polishing our armor or fighting among ourselves. It is time the church militant rose up and took up the weapons that God has handed us – and all those weapons are weapons of prayer – and take on the powers of darkness, the demonic forces, the blindness that has so infected people that do not believe. It is time we took seriously our call to pray for the conversion of souls, even the salvation of the world.
    Do we long to see miracles? Do we long to see the hand of God move mightily? Do we long to see the victory of our God? Then it is time for us to enter into the spiritual warfare that happens when we get serious about prayer.
    I will be the first to admit that I have not been as strong a prayer warrior as I could be. That needs to change. With our prayer for one another we can all grow into the saints here on earth that God needs.
    May this Divine Mercy Weekend be a time for each of us, all of us to recommit to prayer for the sake of the church and all the saints of God. To recommit to prayer that will tear down the strongholds of demonic forces. To recommit to prayer that will bring the kingdom of God closer and more visible to everyone in the world. To recommit to prayer that the promises of God will be fulfilled. Amen.
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