This is an INCREDIBLE HOMILY.
I love the witness to the Truth of our Catholic Faith with which he begins:
The disciples never expected the resurrection. The unanimous testimony of all four Gospels is that the terrible death of Jesus on the cross entirely dashed all their hopes about Jesus and about his message. He was dead, and that was the end of it. They looked for nothing more, and they expected nothing more….
And they were clearly terrified that his awful fate, at the hands of the Sanhedrin and the Romans, could easily become their awful fate. So they hid, trembling with terror, behind shuttered windows and locked doors.
Can you just place yourself there in the locked room? Smell the scent of fear as the men and women huddle close in the cramped quarters and listen for the dreaded sound of soldiers coming for them all?
Jesus just walks in without using the door. Shows them his wounds to prove he is really himself and then leaves again. Can you feel the shock and fear? The man they knew was DEAD was now alive and had spoken with them. Can you imagine what it must have been like to meet what they must initially have been terrified was a ghost?
Thomas missed Jesus that first visit, and spoke out that HE was not to be fooled and did not believe. So the next time, Jesus insisted he come up and place his hand in the wounded side of his body and Thomas believed.
The Bishop wrote about this incredible shift in their comprehension of reality:
His rising from the grave was every bit as real as his dying on the cross. The resurrection was the manifest proof of the invincible power of Almighty God. The inescapable fact of the resurrection confirmed every word Jesus had ever spoken and every work Jesus had ever done.
In the 40 days that Jesus spent with his followers after the resurrection, he spoke to the Apostles and others. He even spoke with a large group of perhaps 100 or more. There were MANY witnesses to his risen life and he left them with the command to spread the gospel to all.
And Peter and John and all the Apostles, starting first in Jerusalem in Judea and Galilee and then to the very ends of the earth, announced the Resurrection and the Good News to everyone they encountered.
For more than 2,000 years the powers of death have tried to snuff out the Church that these Apostles, on fire with the Holy Spirit, planted and entrusted to men of Faith whom they or their disciples trained, men who later became known by their office of Bishop. This Church, made up of ordinary persons, much like the apostles were ordinary persons, is made extraordinary by the Holy Spirit. As the body of Christ, the Church is hated just as Jesus was hated, and just as each one of us, members of this body, are hated when we live as Christians in the world.
The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.
And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.
Today, faced with new oppression, new persecutions, and possibly another round of bloody and unbloody martyrdom, we must be brave. Bishop Jenky wrote:
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
So, yes, Bishop Jenky, we will “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us” and vote for the preservation of Liberty because it comes from God as a gift and because our First Amendment is being threatened and violated.
Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.
No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.
I am stirred and moved by the thrilling martial march with which Bishop Jenky finished:
The Risen Christ is our Eternal Lord; the Head of his Body, the Church; our High Priest; our Teacher; our Captain in the well-fought fight.
We have nothing to fear, but we have a world to win for him. We have nothing to fear, for we have an eternal destiny in heaven. We have nothing to fear, though the earth may quake, kingdoms may rise and fall, demons may rage, but St. Michael the Archangel, and all the hosts of heaven, fight on our behalf.
No matter what happens in this passing moment, at the end of time and history, our God is God and Jesus is Lord, forever and ever.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!
Christ wins! Christ reigns! Christ commands!
What more is there to write but, AMEN!
Dear Jesus, I lift up our enemies, please help me to love them. I pray for our persecutors, please God bless them and bring them to repentance. As for me and my brothers and sisters in Christ, please give us the graces to live faithful to Your Church no matter the cost. Amen.