April 23rd Second Sunday of Easter

Introduction:

We’re still in the happy time of Easter and scripture recounts the glories and suffering of the early church. They walked in the light of the risen Lord. 2000 years later so do we. Nothing can separate us from the love of God made manifest in Christ Jesus our Lord. Lets confess any ways we’ve fail to return that love.

Homily

“The candid scholar, the unselfish priest, the uncomplaining mothers of many” Louise McNeice’s poem “The kingdom” lists those who keep faith. Faced by Thomas’s skepticism Christ tells us to be like them: “Be not faithless, but believing”. A prevalent negativity makes me scream every time I turn on TV. Doubt can deepen faith. But not when we make ourselves God, wealth our truth, and desire our morality. Out with God, the church or the Pope if they don’t say what suits us. Lets not be ala carte Christians, faith twisted to the values of a godless age, the DJ on TV or radio our Christ, the glib media our scripture.

But deep down such worldliness isn’t life-giving. It just destroys our inner life, religious heritage, moral sense and the ground of God we stand on? Many young people flounder in this no man’s land now, neither believing not actively agnostic. The earth of faith, truth and meaning that sustained our ancestors taken from under them they drown in nothingness, meaninglessness? Such despair’s inevitable when man becomes his own law without higher hope, for world’s never enough. Yet new secular masters would allow tarot cards on TV while banning our faith heritage.

No wonder Our lady of Medjugorje calls this the age of Satan. But happily all’s not dark. Faith, hope and charity always comes back. That same Medjugorje quote says that Satan’s age is almost over. Certainly many, sated with worldliness, are moving beyond a mind-set closed to God and the eternal faith that is the Easter message. The risen Lord by conquering evil, brought a hope nothing can defeat in the long run. At Easter Christ says to our age like He says to Thomas, “be not faithless but believing”.

He opens the scriptures to show God’s plan to save us fulfilled in his risen body. Though some in our faithless generation, like the rich man in the Dives story, won’t believe though he be risen from the dead, his rising ensures God’s final victory. Sure, if Christ came and stood In our midst now some still wouldn’t believe. Doubtless there would be a tribunal of inquiry that would end up with a million-page document and no conclusion. But more would welcome him and heed His call: “be not faithless, but believing”. As they say: for those who do not want to believe no proof is sufficient; for those who believe none in needed.

Affluence today seems to be producing more and more hard unbelief. Our forefathers through war, famine and persecution believed. Yet what made them great, is foolishness to a wealthier age. But our forefather will have the last laugh at the side of the Risen Christ in glory. Be not faithless but believing. It is not money but faith that enriches the world. Its ordinary hopeful, trusting, believing, good people, who prevent it from disintegrating into chaos. Its to their side, not that of skeptical self-servers that we’re called. For only standing by his side will we triumph over the world’s dark lord and gain the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever, amen.

So as God’s own, raised by Christ to untold dignity and grace for this life and the next, we profess our faith joyfully..

Prayers of the Faithful

As God’s people, proving our faith by our presence here, we offer our prayers through the risen Christ to our heavenly Father.

For the church in the world, especially the Pope and bishops, may its luminous faith draw all to rise to glory with Christ.

For civil leaders that they may not put stumbling blocks in the way of faith but realize that we need the City of God to complete the circle of life and eternity.

For youth, may they see beyond the emptiness and darkness of unbelief to the infinite glory of faith within God’s holy church.

For ourselves that in our homes and work places we may have the courage to stand up for and nurture the healing faith that our children need for a full life in this world and the next.

For the old, the lonely, the sick and the depressed that they may find in the caring Lord the source of strength to journey in healing faith and hope to the glory of the resurrection..

For the dead who’ve passed from this life to the next that through our prayers they may come to the fullness of glory and rest in the heavenly home Christ prepared for all at his rising..

Reflection

Johnny Cash, the star singer, once gave up on life. He crawled into a cave to die. But God spoke to him there, dispelled his despair, and restored his faith. Afterwards he dedicated his talent to Gospel songs and recorded the whole New Testament in the Holy Land. “Without the Lord I’d never have survived or found inner peace”, he said. The psychiatrist Jung says the same, that the death of God is the death of man, and modern science agrees. A study shows that evolution favors those of faith. So Christ’s words are life in every way. We pray to Mary that we, and our wonderful youth, will be wise and realize that truth…Hail Mary

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