From the Pastor’s Desk 04/12/2015
Apr 14, 2015
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Holy Week is over and here at St. Mark’s we had a remarkable attendance. The Spanish masses were overflowing with people. Good Friday service was very touching and I saw many of our parishioners overcome with strong emotions. It reminded me of the words of the Gospel “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” In an era of declining religious practices I can trust the Lord that the desire to connect with God is still in the hearts of many if not all.
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas wanted to believe with his fingers. In order to believe, he wanted to touch the wounds of the risen Christ. St. Augustine asked himself: what if Jesus had risen without the nailmarks and the wounds of his side? Most likely, Thomas would have never believed. If Jesus had not kept the wounds of his body, the wounds of our hearts will never be healed. The faith of those who have not seen is superior of those who have seen and touched. In many ways Thomas reacted like most of us, we want to touch and see before we believe. People of faith believe that God is good and His love will never fail us.
When faith is authentic we need to commit, feelings are not enough. Faith is always practicing what we believe. Faith without deeds is a dead faith said the Apostle James. When we have a genuine encounter with the Risen Christ our hearts rejoice, he gives us a sense of joy, peace and meaning to our life. More importantly, He invites us to practice works of mercy. The Lord Jesus sends us to forgive and not to judge. We need to announce His Good News but in doing so, we must demonstrate genuine care and concern because many are kept away because they don’t perceive our inner joy, peace and mercy.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday a good day to begin anew. Let us be merciful as the Lord is merciful to us! He gives us the strength to overcome the temptation of not trusting His providential care for us, always.