By Father Omar Guanchez
How many of us enjoy shopping? For some of us shopping is like work, for others it’s kind of fun, but these days shopping looks more like an impossible mission. We go out there with the feeling that anyone could be a threat. Then we come back, alive, feeling lucky … and tired.
It’s a strange time. It feels weird to smile when you have a mask!
There is a sense of grieving from the limit of regular human interaction and normal behavior.
The few times I’ve gone on these shopping missions to get something for the Church, or for myself, I return with the firm conviction that we are just trying our best to survive in a tough world. What can help in times like these? Well, the gift of Faith is my secret weapon, and I am so grateful to God for my Faith because it’s helping me to cope with all this madness.
Our Sunday readings teach us about the early Church. It is interesting to see that they also faced a tough world. When Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to his disciples. The Scriptures say, for fear of the jews, they remained inside. We can only imagine their feeling, of abandonment and hopelessness. Then, in their midst, Jesus appeared and said “Shalom” (Peace be with you!) They rejoiced when they saw the Lord and Jesus said to them again “Shalom.”
Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2, tells us that the early Church was devoted to the teaching of the Apostles, to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. That Christians were supportive of one another and generous with their possessions. They praised God every day in the Temple and at home.
The first disciples of Jesus lived in a tough world, but they had something that you cannot buy at the store: Hope. Hear what St Peter says in his letter: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” Our first Pope speaks of the great mercy of God and how we have been given a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. This living hope is sure and certain; as certain as today’s sunrise. It is not just mercy but great mercy.
And he goes on to say, “… for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials (pause) because the genuineness of your faith must be tested.” I am paraphrasing now.
If we want our faith to be our weapon to combat any hopelessness, and help us endure this trial, we must do 3 things:
1)Trust in Jesus
2) Trust in Jesus
3) Trust in Jesus
Complete trust in Jesus is the key to endure any trial; to weather any storm. When Jesus appeared to Saint Faustina 89 years ago He reaffirmed to her what we learn in the Gospels, that God is merciful and He loves us with an infinite love.
Jesus said to Saint Faustina that those who trust in His Mercy will not perish. He also said that his His Mercy is the last hope of salvation for poor sinners. Let us put our faith in action by joining Jesus in His mission to save souls. Let us pray more eagerly during these days because The Lord has revealed to us, through Saint Faustina, that humankind will not have peace (will not have normal peace) until humankind turns with trust to His Mercy.