Jesus continues to travel with believers even in the dark times of the coronavirus, Archbishop José H. Gomez said April 26.

“God is purifying us through this pandemic,” he said. “He is testing our faith and making us stronger.”

In his homily for the third Sunday of Easter, delivered in Spanish and livestreamed over the internet from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Archbishop Gomez compared the confusion and despair of disciples traveling to Emmaus with the sadness and loneliness felt by many living under quarantine and stay-at-home orders.

“I think we all feel the same way that those disciples felt,” the archbishop said. “Things seem dark, we are downcast and disappointed, it is hard for us to understand what has been happening all around us.”

But even if it is hard to recognize God’s plans, he said, “Jesus is by our side, going with us on our journey. And he will open our eyes to know his love, just as he did for those disciples at Emmaus.”

Archbishop Gomez said that the times call for a new encounter with Jesus in the Gospels and in the Eucharist, as he encountered the disciples at Emmaus.

The archbishop expressed his own sadness at being unable to celebrate the Eucharist with his people because the churches are forced to be closed.

“I share your loss. I feel our separation very deeply,” Archbishop Gomez said. “I am waiting for that day when we can gather together once again to celebrate the Holy Mass at his holy altar and we all can receive Holy Communion.”

But, he added, “Jesus is not gone, he is not withdrawn from us. He is closer to us than ever! He knows that we love him more than anything in the world! He knows how much we long to be with him. And we can receive Him spiritually praying many times every day an Act of Spiritual Communion.”

Archbishop Gomez urged believers to keep praying and to bring hope to their neighbors and loved ones.

Archbishop Gomez’s full homily is below in English, followed by Spanish.

Homily – 3rd Sunday of Easter (A)

Most Reverend José H. Gomez

Archbishop of Los Angeles

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

April 26, 2020

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

We continue in our Easter journey, walking with Jesus in these days after his Resurrection.

In our readings today, we hear of the beautiful hope that we have in Jesus.

St. Peter tells us in the first reading: “But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it.”

God will not let us perish! This is our hope and this is our faith.

We are still facing challenges, even after all these weeks. There are still many people dying from the coronavirus and there is still so much fear and uncertainty.

We know that God’s love is stronger than death. We know this — because as we celebrate in this Easter season — God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead and given him glory.

And we know that Jesus goes with us, that he hears our cries and answers our prayers. This is the promise of today’s beautiful passage from the Gospel, the Easter story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

I think we all feel the same way that those disciples felt. Things seem dark, we are downcast and disappointed, it is hard for us to understand what has been happening all around us.

But in our sadness and confusion, Jesus draws near to walk with us, just as he does with these disciples in the Gospel. He comes to be our companion, to accompany us on our journey.

What is interesting to notice is the humility of Jesus. He draws near to these disciples today — and they could not recognize him, even though they had been his followers for a long time.

Jesus comes to all us, even if we cannot recognize him. Every soul means so much to Jesus! He draws near to everyone who believes in him, and he will not abandon any of us.

We need to know this and believe this — especially in this difficult moment when we are tempted to doubt and despair! Jesus is with us! We must always keep this hope, this confidence!

Even if the events of our lives prevent us from recognizing him — Jesus is by our side, going with us on our journey. And he will open our eyes to know his love, just as he did for those disciples at Emmaus.

Jesus comes to us in our disappointment, and so we need to welcome him and enter into dialogue with him, just as those disciples did. We can tell him our troubles and sorrows, all the deepest worries and longings in our hearts. And as those disciples did, we need to open our hearts and let him speak to us and teach us.

In this moment, my brothers and sisters, I believe Jesus is calling us to encounter him in new ways — in the Scriptures, and in “the breaking of the bread.”

Jesus answers the despair of those disciples at Emmaus by opening up the sacred Scriptures.

We need to be looking for answers and seeking meaning in the Word of God. As Jesus taught those disciples, we need to take up the Gospels and try to understand what is going on in the world and in our lives — in the light of his suffering and his rising from the dead.

Then, the disciples on the road to Emmaus beg Jesus to stay with them. We heard their prayer: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”

And Jesus stays.

And he stays with us, too, my brothers and sisters. Even now, in this time when we feel like the night is coming and we cannot see what the morning will be like. Even now, Jesus stays.

And as he did on that Easter night at Emmaus, Jesus invites us to be at table with him. With us, too, he takes bread in his sacred hands and says the blessing, he breaks the bread, and he give it to us.

Our Lord’s love for us is revealed in the sacramental signs of bread and wine.

He makes himself known to us in the breaking of the bread — even now, when we are hurting because our churches are forced to be closed, and we cannot receive him materially in the Eucharistic Sacrament.

Brothers and sisters, I can tell you I share your loss. I feel our separation very deeply. I am waiting for that day when we can gather together once again to celebrate the Holy Mass at his holy altar and we all can receive Holy Communion.

But Jesus is not gone, he is not withdrawn from us. He is closer to us than ever! He knows that we love him more than anything in the world! He knows how much we long to be with him.

And we can receive Him spiritually, praying many times every day an Act of Spiritual Communion.

God is purifying us through this pandemic. He is testing our faith and making us stronger.

He is calling us, during this challenging time, just as he called those disciples at Emmaus, to “set out at once,” and to bring a message of hope to our neighbors and loved ones.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, as we continue to reflect on the joy of the resurrection, let us pray to him today to stay with us. To be our light in this darkness. To open the Scriptures to us, and to come to us spiritually with his Eucharistic presence and to make the fire of his love burn within our hearts.

And let us ask Mary, the Mother of God and our mother, to help us to never stop praying and never lose heart! May she help us to rejoice in the hope of the resurrection and life everlasting.


Homilía - 3er Domingo de Pascua (A)

Mons. José H. Gómez, Arzobispo de Los Ángeles

Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles

26 de abril de 2020

Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

Seguimos en el tiempo de la Pascua, caminando con Jesús en estos días después de su Resurrección. En las lecturas de hoy, escuchamos una vez más, la esperanza que tenemos en Jesús Resucitado.

San Pedro nos dice en la primera lectura: “Pero Dios lo resucitó, rompiendo las ataduras de la muerte, ya que no era posible que la muerte lo retuviera bajo su dominio”.

Esta es nuestra esperanza y nuestra fe.

Seguimos estos días enfrentando una situación muy difícil, incluso después de tantas semanas y, como sabemos, todavía hay muchas personas que están muriendo debido a la pandemia del coronavirus y sigue habiendo mucho miedo e incertidumbre.

Pero sabemos que el amor de Dios es más fuerte que la muerte. Lo sabemos, porque en este tiempo de la Pascua, celebramos que Dios Nuestro Señor ha resucitado a Jesús de la muerte y le ha dado la gloria.

Pero también sabemos que Jesús nos acompaña, que escucha nuestras penas y que responde a nuestras oraciones. Esta es la promesa que se nos hace en el pasaje que escuchamos hoy en el Evangelio.

Es un pasaje que conocemos bien, los discípulos que iban camino de Emaús.

Creo que todos estamos experimentando en estos días algo semejante a lo que les sucedió a esos discípulos. La situación en la que vivimos sigue estando muy triste, estamos deprimidos y decepcionados y nos cuesta trabajo comprender lo que ha estado sucediendo alrededor de nosotros.

Pero en nuestra tristeza y confusión, Jesús se acerca a nosotros para acompañarnos en el camino, tal y como lo hace con los discípulos en el Evangelio de hoy. Jesús viene para acompañarnos; viene para estar con nosotros en nuestro camino.

Lo primero que pienso que podemos reflexionar es la humildad de Jesús. Hoy lo vemos acercándose a estos discípulos que no supieron reconocerlo a pesar de que seguramente lo acompañaron por mucho tiempo.

Jesús se acerca a nosotros, a pesar de que a veces no sepamos reconocerlo. ¡Cada alma significa mucho para Jesús! Se acerca a todos los que creen en él y nunca nos abandonará.

¡Queridos hermanos y hermanas, Jesus está con nosotros! ¡Necesitamos estar convencidos y tener mucha fe, especialmente en este momento difícil en el que es fácil dudar y perder la esperanza! ¡Siempre tenemos que mantener la confianza de que Jesus está con nosotros!

Jesús pues viene a nosotros en nuestras situaciones difíciles, y tenemos que recibirlo y conversar con él, así como lo hicieron los discípulos de Emaús.

Tenemos que contarle nuestras dificultades y sufrimientos, expresarle todas las preocupaciones y los deseos más personales. Y como ellos lo hicieron, tenemos que abrirle nuestro corazón y dejar que él nos aconseje y nos ilumine.

Me parece, queridos hermanos y hermanas, que especialmente en este momento que estamos pasando y como a los discípulos de Emaús, Jesús nos está llamando a encontrarnos con él, de una manera nueva, en las Escrituras y “al partir el pan”.

Primero, Jesús responde a la ansiedad de los discípulos de Emaús explicándoles las Sagradas Escrituras. También nosotros hemos de encontrar las respuestas que estamos buscando en la Palabra de Dios, en la Sagrada Escritura.

Así como Jesús les enseñó y explico los pasajes de la Escritura nosotros hemos de leer los Evangelios y descubrir los misterios de lo que está sucediendo en nuestro mundo y en nuestras vidas, a la luz del sufrimiento de Jesús y de su resurrección de entre los muertos.

Luego, los discípulos de Emaús le rogaron a Jesús que se quedara con ellos: “Quédate con nosotros, ya que es casi la tarde y el día está por terminar”. Y Jesús se quedó con ellos.

Jesus también se queda con nosotros! Incluso ahora, en este momento en el que sentimos que se acerca la tarde y en que no podemos ver cómo será la mañana. Incluso ahora, Jesús se queda con nosotros.

Y como lo hizo aquella tarde de Pascua en Emaús, Jesús nos invita a sentarnos a la mesa con él.

Y toma el pan en sus sagradas manos y pronuncia la bendición, parte el pan y nos lo da. El amor de nuestro Señor por nosotros se nos revela en los signos sacramentales del pan y del vino.

Él también se nos da a conocer al partir el pan, incluso ahora, que estamos sufriendo porque nuestras iglesias se ven obligadas a permanecer cerradas y en que no podemos recibirlo en el Santísimo Sacramento.

Hermanos y hermanas, de todo corazón, quisiera decirles que comparto su sentimiento por no poder recibir a Jesus en la Eucaristía sacramentalmente en estos días.

Y como ustedes, y junto con mis hermanos sacerdotes, estoy esperando ansiosamente el día en que podamos reunirnos nuevamente para celebrar la Eucaristía en el altar y que todos podamos recibir la Sagrada Comunión sacramentalmente.

Pero Jesús no se ha ido, él no se aleja de nosotros. ¡Está más cerca de nosotros que nunca! ¡Él sabe que lo amamos más que nada en el mundo! Él sabe cuánto anhelamos estar con él.

Y, desde luego, todos podemos recibirlo espiritualmente, muchas veces cada día, rezando la Comunión Espiritual.

Dios nos está purificando a través de esta pandemia. Está probando nuestra fe y haciéndonos más fuertes. Y nos está llamando a ser testigos de su amor.

Y así como llamó a aquellos discípulos, nos está llamando a “levantarnos inmediatamente” y a llevar el mensaje de esperanza a nuestros seres queridos y a todas las personas que nos rodean.

Entonces, queridos hermanos y hermanas, al seguir reflexionando sobre la alegría de la resurrección, pidámosle hoy a Jesús que se quede con nosotros, que sea nuestra luz en esta oscuridad.

Que nos explique las Escrituras y que esté con nosotros con su presencia Eucarística y que el fuego de su amor arda en nuestros corazones.

¡Y pidámosle a María Santísima, Madre de Dios y Madre nuestra, que nos ayude a perseverar en la oración y a estar siempre llenos de optimismo! Que ella nos ayude a seguir alegrándonos en la Resurrección de su Hijo Jesús y en la esperanza de la vida eterna.