Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do Not Be Unbelieving

April 19, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. Acts 4:32-33

"Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." John 20:29


The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. Psalm 118:22-24


“Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.” It is not hard to imagine how Thomas felt. He did not believe what he most wanted to believe. Love is proved by deeds. But how is that love when we have to see and touch the pain of another for our sake? Love is never deserved. It is the free gift we offer to another. When someone has to prove their love, we are offering justice, not love. Christ is the perfect example of love because he died for the good and the bad alike. Christ is the acid test of love. How alike to Christ are we with our love? Christ loved us even as the Father loved him. He invites us to live in his love. St. John tells us that Jesus is begotten by God and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him.

Loving without seeing is the faith t hat Christ is asking of us. Faith is the conviction we have about what another will do in the future because of all we know from the past. God is forever faithful. Because God is love, there will never be a moment that does not have the fullness of the love of God. Christ converts all the ordinary of our lives into the extraordinary by his Hidden Life. It can be said that only the ordinary is extraordinary in the kingdom of God. If our love for God needs to be proven by deeds, justice rather than love is what is needed. Believing God is there for us in the most difficult times is the special love of the Resurrection. Because of the risen Christ, every human act done out of love has the potential of a God meaning. Christ raises us up to the power of his Resurrection. We have the potential to take the human into the divine by our love. Wherever there is love, God is there. God’s love is everlasting.


The first Community of believers was of one mind and heart in Christ. They had everything in common. There were no needy persons. The needs of each person were well cared for. Today the needy are no less in need of a community to take care of them. Such a community has Christ as the cornerstone. Our actions for the poor have Christ as the center piece because Christ identifies with the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and prisoners. Whatever we do for the least person of our lives is the measure of how much we love Christ and how much Christ love is in the good we do for those that love us and are brothers and sisters to us. We are called to love the others of our lives even when we do not see Christ in them. When we put our hands into the wounded side of Christ and touch the wounds in his hands and feet, it is easy to believe that the pains we put up with for each other are worth the price. But Christ says: “Blessed are those who believe without seeing” and that is what we do when we help those we do not know in their difficulties without needing to see the connection to Christ. That is what happens when we help without seeing Christ. No good we do for the needy will ever be wasted. Thus we have life through this belief in his name.

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