Homily – May 3, 2020

Scripture scholars tell us that the epistles of Peter, James and John are Catholic Epistles. They are not directed to any particular Christian community but to any and all the followers of Jesus.

In our reading today Peter encourages Christian men and women who suffer for being faithful to the teaching and example of Jesus. Maybe they were shunned by their families or ridiculed by neighbours for believing in a criminal who was crucified for claiming to be God. Some may even been jailed or put to death.

But Peter reminds them all these things happened to Jesus and Jesus left us an example that we should follow in his steps. Jesus did not return insult for insult, pain with pain. And Jesus endured all his suffering for us leaving us an example as to how we should act in the face of hatred and injustice.

We are all to bear witness to our Christian by what we say and what we do.

As we live together during these difficult times of social distancing, isolation in our homes, being laid off work or having to close a business and as we fear for those who are sick and mourn for those who have died may can always be grateful for the presence of family and friends. We pray for the men and women who first respond in any way to serve us in these anxious times.

Our present frights and fears, our isolation, our insecurities about what the future may bring these are our share in the sufferings of Christ. With faith in him can we echo his words; Father if it is possible let this chalice pass me by, yet not my will but your will be done?

By his wounds we are healed. Can our present wounds of loneliness, anxiety and financial insecurity heal us and make us more aware of our indifference to the poverty of so many people around the world, heal our indifference to the reality of climate change and heal our indifference to the suffering of good people who suffer from the unfairness of racism, sexism, financial exploitation and the xenophobia that lessens us all?

We shouldn’t be afraid to ask ourselves these questions.