What a beautiful and moving moment this is for me. To be here in a place that has meant so much to me, a place that has formed me, a place that I have prayed for countless hours is now filled with people whom I love. All of you here have made an impact on my life, and in your own way have helped guide me to this moment.
I am deeply moved to look out onto a sea of people who love me and have supported me. People from many different moments of my life all gathered together in prayer. It is a truly beautiful sight.
Thank you. Thank you for your love and support.
To have my family, my friends from Michigan and Notre Dame, my brothers in Holy Cross, and my parishioners from Holy Redeemer all praying and worshipping together in one place, is almost more joy than I can bear.
And what brings us together today is even more beautiful still. We gather here to celebrate and rejoice in the Good News of Christ. That Jesus, after suffering and dying for us, has Risen! He has defeated sin and death, and He has brought us to new life in His Love through His infinite and boundless Mercy.
Also, I’m now a priest, which is pretty awesome. But in the list of joys we are celebrating today, that is certainly not the most important. We would none of us be here if Christ had not Risen. We would not be here if we, like Thomas, had not said “My Lord and My God!”
While we were not there in the Upper room when Christ first appeared to His disciples, Christ has appeared to us. Our God has revealed Himself to us. He has shown us the marks of His Crucifixion, and at the same time poured out upon us His endless Love and Mercy.
And we each of us, in our own ways have responded to Him.
My Lord and my God!
I think St. Thomas gets a bum rap. He’s often called doubting Thomas, because he is the last of the Apostles to believe in the Resurrection. That of course isn’t something to brag about, but the bottom line is, he does end up believing. When confronted with the Risen Christ, St. Thomas makes that beautiful declaration of Faith “My Lord and my God!”
Christ continues to reveal himself to us. It happens in the grand moments, but also in the mundane moments of our everyday lives. And we don’t always respond to Him as we should. Like Thomas, sometimes we doubt, sometimes we refuse to see how Christ could be present in the midst of such pain and suffering. But Christ is there, and He keeps at it. His Love for us is so great each time we turn to Him and trust in Him, He pours upon us His boundless mercy.
Our God loves us beyond measure. He is constantly calling to us, beckoning us to Himself. Let us pray for the faith and courage to respond “My Lord and My God!”
Fr. Matthew Fase, C.S.C. was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross on Saturday, April 11, 2015 along with five of his seminary classmates. Fr. Fase has spent the last year ministering at Holy Redeemer Parish in Portand, Oregon. He is originally from Rockford, Michigan.