Pope Francis in his Homily on Sunday said, “The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith for Christians.
“That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for they are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness.
“Saint Peter, quoting Isaiah, writes to Christians: ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’” (1 Peter 2:24, Is 53:5)
This past Sunday, Catholics celebrated Divine Mercy, also when Christ Jesus turned to Thomas and told him to touch his wounds. “Whereupon that man, so straightforward and accustomed to testing everything personally, knelt before Jesus with the words: ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John20:28).”
Pope Francis spoke on Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II that they, “were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side. They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother (Is 58:7), because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles.
“These were two men of courage, filled with the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy.”
The messages of Divine Mercy and the life of John Paul II and John XXII are worth a lifetime of reflection. Their acceptance of God and their saintly lives here on Earth should encourage us to accept Divine Mercy every day in our life.
John XXIII said, “I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart.” I have to believe that when we accept God and Divine Mercy into our life, we fall in love with the people we encounter.
People stop becoming irritating to us because we allow God to view the world through us and when we do that we see with God’s eyes. Imagine how profoundly beautiful the world would be if we looked in the eyes of Christ… and I think men like John XXIII and John Paul II and women like Mother Teresa and Lymah Gbowee all see the possibilities that our world possess.
Truly as John Paul said, they were “living saints among us.” You don’t have to be canonized in the Catholic Church to be a saint; that’s a mission we’re all given.
Before you leave campus for summer break or time off, think about what John Paul said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.” Let us today, even at the end of the semester, at the beginning of summer, at a time where all we want to do is finish (and pass) our finals and leave; today let’s take a moment and allow Mercy into our life and to transform us.
God will transform the world and we can either stand in the way or be a part of that beautiful future.
And to all the graduating seniors who have impacted my college experience, thank you so much. Some of you have personally made my Gannon life these past three years incredibly beautiful and for you I am beyond grateful.
Know that Gannon loves you and wherever you go, there will always be a place for you back here at Gannon. We will miss you. And you will always be in our prayers and thoughts. Don’t forget to call and write back home.