Homily on the occasion of the Holy Hour for the Church in Nicaragua and Bishop Alvarez
St. Peter Church, San Francisco
June 2, 2023
Thank you, brothers, and sisters, for being here tonight in this prayer vigil for the Church of Nicaragua and, in a particular way, for His Excellency Bishop Rolando Alvarez, still detained in prison. In this country, we gather in prayer for our Catholic brothers and sisters in Nicaragua, for all that they are suffering now. The Church has always been the object of hatred and also of the fear of those who seek total, complete power. Dictators always hate the Church and try to destroy it because it is the only obstacle to their goal of having control and absolute power over all the people, it is a cause of fear. When we are united in faith, it is only united in solidarity, as St. John Paul II always taught, in solidarity, in our faith, in our action, that we can give this testimony of giving fear even to the dictators of the world. We gather in solidarity tonight, in prayer… in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. We must persevere in prayer, in the practice of our faith, in fasting, in acts of charity, in a life of service, a life of fidelity to God, according to our state in life, so that we may maintain this unity of which the world has great need, even if it does not know it, but yes, it has this need.
Let us ask the Lord, then, brothers, for this grace to persevere in faith and unity so that we may be a testimony of the light of Christ to the world, and that the grace of the Lord may free his servants, who are suffering for their fidelity to him. The Church always wants and seeks and works for freedom, true freedom, which is the freedom to act as if we are not commanded and to grow in faith for all the freedom of the children of God. Freedom from the life of sin and growth in the life of grace of the Lord.
Thank you again for your presence tonight and let us continue to pray for Bishop Alvarez and all our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua and all Catholics, and all Christians in the world who are suffering for their faith, may the Lord give them comfort, strength, and grace to persevere with their heroic testimony to the goodness, grace, and love of Jesus Christ.