To watch Fr. Joe’s Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary time: CLICK HERE!
I read a story this week about Nadine Collier who said, “I forgive you.” This happened three years ago and Nadine was speaking to the person who killed her mother, Ethel, who was studying the Bible at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Nadine shared her hurt, her loss, but added, “But God forgives you and I forgive you.”
But what is even more amazing is that Nadine was not alone. One by one, the members of the families whose loved ones were murdered at this church rose to do the same – forgive. The message was repeated again and again – forgive!
It was a day when grace, amazing grace, won out over hate.
Said one commentator, “even an Atheist had to see divinity in these families built on love.”
Just maybe today’s Gospel sends us an enormously important message, “trust in the grace and power of God.”
Trust that the Jesus of the Gospels can also be experienced in real life, in our lives daily.
For St. Mark, our Gospel writer, grace is everywhere. God is truly “Emmanuel,” with us, for us, among us, between us.
God continues to create new miracles everyday. Miracles of conversion, repentance, new beginnings. Miracles of faith, hope, and courage.
You know, our God never gives up on us. The message about the little girl is the same message for us. The child was not dead, but asleep, “and Jesus says, ‘little girl, I say to you, arise!’”
And what is it Jesus may be saying to us? What do we need to rise from or above: fears, blindness, smallness, prejudices, hatred…
God’s grace can win out. The people of that Church in Charleston, South Carolina made that abundantly clear.