Second Sunday of Easter – Year C
Fr. Mark Gatto
Date Preached: April 28, 2019
Like Thomas, we come to Mass each week so that we can touch Jesus and believe. The first appearance of the Risen Lord Jesus, Thomas is not there with the others and so misses Jesus and does not believe. The following week, Thomas is there with the others and so he touches Jesus and he believes. He makes that great profession of faith, “My Lord and my God.”
We come to Mass each week so that we can touch Jesus and believe. But, our faith calls us to act.
When the Risen Lord Jesus appears to the Apostles, he says to them, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” We come to Mass to touch Jesus and have faith. But, then we are sent out by Jesus into the world.
What are we sent to do?
During Easter we listen to the Acts of the Apostles which tells of the experiences of the first believers after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Today, we heard that people were laying the sick in the street hoping that Peter’s shadow might fall on them. The Christian community, the early Church, was an instrument of healing. It made the mercy and healing of Jesus visible and concrete.
Jesus sends us out to be instruments of healing, instruments of peace, to bring God’s mercy into our world.
This past Easter Sunday morning, we saw a terrible act of terrorism in Sri Lanka. Several suicide bombings, some in Catholic Churches, killing hundreds and injuring more. The images remind us of the division, the hatred, the brokenness within the world.
Even within our families we find divisions, jealousies, even hatred. It is clear that our world, our communities, our families, are in need of healing, in need of peace, in need of mercy.
This Second Sunday of Easter is now known as Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a reminder of the Mercy of God. Reminder of our need for God’s mercy. Reminder of the power of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is essential, it is the power of God, forgiveness is necessary for there to be peace in our world, between religions, in the church, within families, in our own hearts.
Like Thomas, we come to this Mass each week to touch the Risen Lord Jesus and have our faith affirmed. Jesus then sends us out to be instruments of peace, instruments of healing, to bring God’s mercy into our world and into our families. Our world, our families, each of us, need healing, peace, mercy.
Each of us is called to be an instrument of peace, an instrument of God’s mercy. Even one act of forgiveness makes the world a better place. Have the courage to reject hatred, violence, division when our world offers you that path. Have the courage instead to embrace the mercy and forgiveness of God. Have the courage to be people and instruments of peace.
Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time – Year B
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: Feb 4, 2018
Have you ever been broken hearted? A time in your life when you were really broken, discouraged, wondering about this life? Perhaps a sickness, a loss of a job or career, the death of a loved one, a divorce or broken relationship. Some time when all that seemed important to you came crashing down. Then perhaps you can relate to Job in our First Reading. He is a man who is brokenhearted. He speaks of “months of emptiness”, “nights of misery”, “night is long, and I am full of tossing until dawn”, “my life is a breath”. This is a man who is really struggling.
The Beginning of Mark’s Gospel shows us Jesus as one who heals. Simon Peter’s mother-in-law is sick in bed with a fever. Jesus goes in, took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then many were coming, sick with various diseases and demons. Brokenhearted humanity was coming looking for healing. Jesus is seen as one who brings healing.
When we read the Gospels, it can be easy for us to look and see how wonderful Jesus was. A great healer back then. It takes away any responsibility from us. We look for Jesus to do something or someone special other than me. But, when we see something in Jesus, we the Church are called to do the same. Do not say, Jesus did great things back then as though it is something in the past. If Jesus was one that the brokenhearted went to in order to experience healing, then we know that they were also going to the early church to experience healing. It means that today we are to be instruments of healing in our world.
Do not look around for some other person with special healing powers. You are to be one who brings healing. As Jesus was a healer, so the Church is to be a healer, and not just some special person or the priest, all of you.
Where are you to bring healing? In your own home, your family. Where you work or study. In the community. Anywhere that we find people who are brokenhearted.
Our world has many places where healing is needed, many demons that need to be cast out.
Social Media – often we see hatred, bigotry, division expressed here. How do you use social media? In a way that heals or hurts?
Demons of prejudice, violence, division are seen in politics, between races, with indigenous peoples here in Canada, in the Me Too movement. We have to cast out these demons.
Often our words can be so destructive, so divisive, so harmful. Are the words you use, words that heal or words that hurt?
Like Jesus, let us take the people who are brokenhearted by the hand and lift them up. Let us be people who bring healing to those who are hurting, let us be people who cast out demons of hatred, division, injustice.
At the end of the Mass today, you will be sent out. Go out as a church of healing.
Question for reflection as we go out: Am I bringing healing or hurt? By my words and actions with all people, all situations, am I healing or hurting?