Saturday, April 10, 2010

Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday / Easter Two

Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe. John 20:29

It was that very wise man, author and wit, GK Chesterton, who about 100 years ago, said “When people cease to believe in something, they will believe in anything.” They are prophetic words, because we live in a world and a society where there is no lack of belief at all - for people will believe in almost anything provided is different or novel or unusual.
People will believe in astrology and tarot, and take part in séances. They will embrace homeopathic medicine, chiropracy and acupuncture. They will tell you that God is an astronaut, that Leonardo Da Vinci was part of some historic consipiracy, that Jesus married Mary Magdalen, had a large family and retired to Spain, and that he was gay, of course. They will tell you that the earth is flat or hollow, that man never landed on the moon, that Kennedy was assassinated by Martians ... and goodness knows what else. The more shocking the idea, the more likely it is to be believed. And of course there may be some truth in some of these ideas, and perhaps occasionally some merit - but not all at the same time, surely.
Yes it’s true. We do not live in an unbelieving world, but we do live in a credulous one, and there is a very big difference between faith and credulity. It is good to have an open mind, provided it isn’t open at the bottom.
But Faith is not about fancy or novelty. It is not without foundation in fact, or in history. Thomas and the Apostles see the risen Christ not so that we can believe blindly, but so that they can be witnesses to the truth - so that we can hear the message they preached, the truth which they taught, the vision they received.
Faith’s firm foundation is the Good News, the amazing message of what really happened, and the power of Life and Love which still dwells amongst us, full of grace and truth.

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