Bishop Kemme: Rejoice and live in Christ’s peace


The apostles in Divine Mercy Sunday’s gospel were afraid and paralyzed with fear, Bishop Carl A. Kemme said in a homily streamed from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

“Not unlike the fear we have faced in these days of infection, theirs was also a fear of the unknown, a fear of being harmed,” he said. “For them, it was the fear of receiving the same judgment as Jesus; for us, it is the fear of sickness, death, unemployment, loneliness, and isolation.”

Bishop Kemme said there is more fear in the world today than there was two months ago. “Our newest fear is the result of a mysterious, invisible, and deadly virus, for which we have no available cure.”

As a result of their fear, he said, the apostles hid behind locked doors.

“That image should resonate with us, as we are required now to remain at home, within the walls of our shelters so as to protect ourselves from the risk of infection. We try to live life in as normal a way as possible, but it is all different and decidedly uncomfortable and unpleasant.”

Jesus, in the Gospel story, broke through those locked doors, Bishop Kemme said, to announce the greatest gift he could give: “Peace be with you, he said, twice in the first encounter and then again a week later.”

Peace is one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit, he said, adding that the others are charity, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, forbearance, gentleness, faith, modesty, self-control, and chastity.

“The disciples were never guaranteed a life without its worries, struggles and even fears,” the bishop said. “All but one would go forward to a martyr’s death, but they emerged from that place of fear encouraged, strengthened, and empowered to live life now in a remarkably different and bold way.”

Bishop Kemme encouraged the faithful to do the same because they have been appointed as the Lord’s disciples in these unique and challenging times.

In closing his Divine Mery Sunday homily, Bishop Kemme encouraged his flock to rejoice in Christ’s peace, to share his peace, and to live in his peace.

“Jesus is right here with us. And that is why we can say: his mercy endures forever.”