Archbishop Gomez recently celebrated the annual Mass for All Immigrants at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The following is adapted from his homily.
Today, we celebrate the beautiful diversity of peoples that make up the family of God in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and in the Dioceses of Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
And we are all here today because we share one vision and one hope. We are united in the cause of building a home for all peoples, all nations, races, and languages.
Jesus said that he was sent into this world by the Father, and that the Father sent him to unite all things in heaven on earth in him. He said the Father sent him “that all may be one” under the one God who made all of us.
This is God’s heart. This is what he wants for Los Angeles, for southern California, for America, for the world. This is what he wants for each one of us.
What makes us one is that we are created by God and saved through Jesus Christ. We have one Father in heaven, and through Jesus the Father has shown us mercy, and made us sisters and brothers on earth.
That is the beautiful message of our readings today from the sacred Scriptures. As we heard in today’s passage of the Gospel: “Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I have had pity on you?”
Those words from the Master in Jesus’ parable are spoken to you and to me. But they are also spoken today to our leaders in this country.
This has been another frustrating summer, part of another frustrating year, for all of us who hope for immigration reform. People are being sent from the border all over the country, but there is no plan for them to be welcomed, no plan for them to be settled.
We all are working together to welcome them and provide for their needs, but our leaders seem to be standing by, instead of coming together and working to fix our broken immigration system.
So, Our Lord’s words today are addressed to everyone, including our political leaders: “Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I have had pity on you?”
We pray for our leaders, as we do every year in this Mass. And we commit ourselves once again this year to continuing to seek justice for immigrants.
We ask the Lord today in this Eucharist to give us strength to overcome our frustrations at the situation of our brothers and sisters.
Jesus tells Peter today in the Gospel that we need to forgive those who trespass against us “seventy times seven.” That means always. That means every time. Every offense.
Jesus is telling us today in this parable that his mercy knows no limits. And neither can ours, my dear brothers and sisters. His mercy makes us one family. As our Father is merciful with us, we must be merciful with one another.
Every time we draw near to the altar, we remember our Lord’s mercy. And we realize that we are like that servant in the parable today. We can never repay what we owe to Jesus.
He loved us and he gave himself for us on the cross. And in his love, he is still giving his life for us in the bread and wine, in the sacrifice of every Mass.
At this altar, Jesus is sharing his body and blood with us. That means that each one of us now has his divine life living within us. The life we live now is his life, not our own.
Because we are the Lord’s, because we have his life within us, we have the power to love as he loves. We have the duty to forgive as he forgives.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, let us thank him for saving us, for redeeming us by his love on the cross.
Let us ask him to give us new eyes to see that every person is someone just like us, someone who has been shown mercy, forgiven a debt that we could never repay.
And let us ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to wrap each of us, and all our loved ones, in the mantle of her tender care, especially those who are suffering the cruelty of our broken immigration system.
May Our Lady help us to always be aware of her Son’s love for us. And may she help us to grow in our love for all our brothers and sisters!