Holy Week Live Stream Mass

Bishop Burbidge's Homily for One Nation Under God Holy Hour

Full Transcript:

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last week, we celebrated the memorial of St. John Paul II. We recall his very first words as Pope, “Do not be afraid.” Later, he wrote: “People and nations of the entire world need to hear those words. Their conscience, he says, needs to grow in the certainty that Someone holds in his hands the destiny of this passing world...And that Someone is Love-Love made man, Love crucified and risen. Love unceasingly present among us.”

Dear friends, we have decided to spend this hour in the presence of that Someone, our Lord Jesus Christ, whose love is perfectly revealed in the Blessed Sacrament, says to us this evening, “Do not be afraid.” 

We need to hear that message as we continue to persevere through a pandemic, as we carry our own physical and emotional burdens and sufferings; as we see violence and unrest in communities throughout our nation; and as we acknowledge that tension, and anxiety and division are growing as election draws near.  And through all of this Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” For he reassures us that he holds in his hands the destiny of this passing world, that he defeated the powers and evils of this world by his cross and resurrection, and that he gives us of a share in his victory now and forever. No wonder we say, “In God we trust.”

The theme for our Holy Hour this evening is “One Nation under God.” 'Under God,' that is why we do not fear. No matter the results of the election next week, one thing is unchangeable: the Lord remains King and Ruler of our Nation. The One from whom all power and authority flow, the One in whom alone we find strength, and grace, and wisdom and liberty and justice for all. The One who promises that he will never disappoint or abandon us. No matter what positions elected officials hold, those positions are only theirs for a moment in time, but our nation is always and forever under the protection and guidance of God, in whom we trust.”

We also reflect tonight on the word One: 'One Nation Under God.' That reminds us of the unity that must be ours. Like others, I fear that there is a possibility after the election next week there will be growing unrest in our nation. That is why we have to do our part to be instruments of the Lord's peace and unity… As we follow his teachings, show compassion and kindness to one another; forgive those who have offended you; yes, live the truth, proudly and boldly but always in love, and respect one another, even those who disagree with our firmly held convictions and beliefs. In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament this evening, may I suggest that you pray for the grace that those in your families, workplaces, communities and schools, will see that example in you as we strive, daily in the days ahead, to reflect to others that we are one nation under God and brothers and sisters in Christ.

In just a few moments, we will have the precious gift that is often lacking in our lives: the gift of silence.  So be quiet and still and serene in the presence of our eucharistic Lord, who holds in his hands the destiny of this passing world who is unceasingly present among us promising us that he will guide and protect us at this moment in time and always. No wonder he says, “Do not be afraid.”