2 Pope Saints

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Like any of us would,
following a momentous event in our life
Jesus rushes to meet his friends
after his Resurrection.

He goes out to them,
because he wants to be with them.
He goes out to them,
because he knows they are afraid.
He goes out to them,
because he has a mission for them.

The Risen Christ is all about:
Presence, Mercy and Mission.

We see this mission of Christ
made manifest
in the lives of two men, two saints.

Saint John XXIII
was a man who was close to the people.
When he was bishop in Istanbul, Turkey,
a mostly Muslim country,
he shocked people by his friendliness,
by his closeness to the lives of the ordinary people
and his revolutionary use of the Turkish language
in the official prayers of the Church.

In many small gestures
Pope John was showing people that
Christ is close to us
and is no stranger to any language, culture or people.

The “Good” Pope, Saint John 23
was present to ordinary people,
even Muslim people
and brought them the compassion, mercy and love of Christ.

The young and dynamic John Paul II
was a travelling Pope.
There is no place on this earth
where he did not bring the message of Christ.

How many times did we see him
being greeted by local people,
dressed in traditional clothes
and doing cultural dances?
How many times did we see him
wearing the funniest traditional hats and vestments?
How many times did we see him
visiting the sick, the disabled, the abandoned?

Saint John Paul, II also reminded us
that every human life has value
and there is no suffering or injustice
where Christ’s mercy and love do not reach.

Today in this mass,
in the Word, in the Eucharist we are about to share
and in one another,
Christ is present to us,
comes close to us because he loves us.

Today in this liturgy,
Christ comes with mercy and love
to heal our sin, our pains and struggles
to touch our scars.

Today in this Eucharist
Christ send us forth
filled with the Spirit
to do the same.

The Risen Christ sends us out
to draw close to the most forgotten,
the most neglected in our community.

The Risen Christ sends us out
to touch the scars and pains
of our brothers and sisters
and to bring them
the Good News of God’s love and mercy.

Like Saint John XXIII and Saint John-Paul II,
like the Risen Christ
we are called to be parishes
of Presence, Mercy and Mission.

Homily, 2nd Sunday of Easter, April 27 2014