This is the homily that Father Thomas Zelker, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Delanson and Our Lady of the Valley in Middleburgh, delivered on May 29.

In the Resurrection, we encounter Heaven’s unconditional Love. They tried to end it … they whipped and punched, they nailed and speared, they murdered, crucified and entombed. They tried to put an end to love, but life triumphed over the powers of evil and death. Christ lives!

They tried and thought they succeeded but they failed. Love continues! This day we recognize that we are part of God and part of each other. We are connected to each other as we are connected to God. We see our future: the Temple of God has gates in every direction to welcome in all without exception, judgment and exclusion. The Temple of God is Jesus Christ, the Light that gives hope even in a darkened world. The Savior who empowers us with the very essence of the Divine; the Spirit to be as the Christ for our world right now. God’s home is right here, right now. The events of these last days compel us to be the sacrament of home for each and every person and live fully as the sacred People of God credibly witnessing to the world. 

Because of Christ, because of us, our nation and our world must know that each person is irreplaceable. Each is unique, valued, a precious daughter, a precious son of God. Loved for who you are, just as you are, whether an elderly shopper at a grocery store, an unborn infant, a poor single mother, a high school kid, the sick patient, the immigrant.

We make a difference as a people of faith. Let us not be motivated by hate, bigotry, envy and fear, hiding behind our perceived differences, feelings of superiority or ignorance. Let our abounding love for one another be our motivation.
Our Church has always existed to confront the sin of its day. We haven’t always done a good or honorable job of it. Today is a beginning, a new birth.

Filled with the Spirit of Christ, let us strive and seek to be pro­phets of the Reign of God in our universal Church, our humble par­ish, in our sacred lives as disciples of the crucified, risen Lord.

Our lands need us right now. You are irreplaceable … forever.

Amen