Homily – 5th Sunday of Easter 2020 [i]
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
May 10, 2020
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
I want to say first of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers and grandmothers.
These are, as we know, challenging times for our families, and especially our mothers and grandmothers. In many beautiful ways, our families have become domestic churches in this time of the coronavirus.
We know that our mothers are the heart of every home. And you have even greater responsibilities now, especially those of you who are raising young children who are at home now during this lockdown.
So, we pray for you today in a special way and we thank you for your love.
And today, I think Jesus is speaking directly to our hearts, in the words we just heard from the Gospel:
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me. …
Where I am you also may be.
I am the way and the truth and the life.
We are on a journey. It is a journey of trust. We really don’t know how things will unfold in these challenging times. We are walking together, as one family, and we are stronger together. But it is uncertain the road we are on.
But Jesus tells us today not to be worried, not be afraid. Jesus makes himself the way for our life. And this is invitation for us to have faith.
“Have faith in me.” This is what he is asking of each one of us today. We are walking with Jesus. Never forget that! The road sometimes, can be hard to see. God can seem far away. That is real.
And, as we know, when we walk with Jesus, we are walking with the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. He is “God from God, light from light.” As we pray in our Profession of Faith.
So, we need to be aware of this light in our life all the time, we are always in the presence of God.
St. Peter tells us today that we are God’s chosen people. “You are … a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Especially now, when there are so many people who are hurting in our own families, in our society, Jesus is calling us “to announce the praises of him who call you out of darkness” and not to be worried about ourselves, but to get over ourselves, to go beyond ourselves, and to give ourselves to others.
We have many worries, these days. Those worries are real. But we cannot stay locked inside ourselves. A good test always is to ask whether we are thinking about ourselves more than we are thinking about others.
We are only as strong as the ones around us. So we need to help one another, we need to build each other up, bring hope.
This is how the first Christians lived, as we heard in today’s first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles.
As we heard today, the Church’s mission of love has three parts — there is prayer, there is proclaiming the Word, and there is serving the poor and the vulnerable.
The Church’s mission hasn’t changed and it doesn’t stop because society has shut down. Our personal duty as disciples does not stop because we are uncertain about the future.
Jesus tells us today: Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.
Our Christian faith means always watching what Jesus is doing — and then doing ourselves what we see him doing.
Jesus changed the world by his love. He changed the life of every person he met. This can be our goal, too. Even in our quarantine, we can do what Jesus does. We can love with all our heart.
Right now, people are lonely and disconnected. In this time when we can’t go to church, we can make a phone call, send a message to check in on people in our families and in our parishes.
Tell them you are praying for them. Listen to them and share with them words of hope and joy. This is how we can proclaim Christ. This is how we can serve our brothers and sisters.
I have to tell you that I am really impressed and amazed at all the great works of prayer, spirituality and service of all of you in the Archdiocese.
One beautiful example is our candles prayer program here at the Cathedral but then please take a look at our Archdiocese webpage, LACatholics.org and you can see some of the many works of love and service in our parishes and schools.
And, as we said, this is how those first Christians lived. They supported one another through their prayers and their works.
And we remember during this month of May, Mary the mother of Jesus was at the heart of the first Christian community. And Mary our Blessed Mother is still the heart of the Church today.
So, let us ask Our Blessed Mother to help us to stay close to Jesus, just as she did. To walk with him, to talk to him, and to have faith in him. Just as Mary did.
Let us especially ask Mary today to watch over our mothers and our grandmothers. We entrust all our mothers to her Immaculate Heart!
May she help every mother to be a great disciple, teaching and guiding her children to trust in God’s love and Providence in these challenging times and always.