Archbishop Gomez at Immigrant Mass: Proclaim ‘Universality of Salvation’

The Mass came amid the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' Sept. 18-26 novena meant to prepare for the 2020 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, observed Sept. 27.

Pope Francis kisses a relic of Blessed Junipero Serra presented by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, California at the conclusion of Mass celebrated at the Pontifical North American College in Rome May 2, 2015. It was the first papal visit to the U.S. seminary since 1980. Saint Junipero Serra was an 18th century missionary who worked to defend the native people in America against the abuses of colonialism.
Pope Francis kisses a relic of Blessed Junipero Serra presented by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, California at the conclusion of Mass celebrated at the Pontifical North American College in Rome May 2, 2015. It was the first papal visit to the U.S. seminary since 1980. Saint Junipero Serra was an 18th century missionary who worked to defend the native people in America against the abuses of colonialism. (photo: Vatican Media / Vatican Media)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The United States needs to hear the proclamation of the unity of nations and the universality of salvation, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles preached Sunday during a Mass recognizing immigrants.

“In this moment, I believe God is calling our immigrant Church to be a light to our immigrant nation,” the archbishop said during his homily during Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles Sept. 20.

“He is calling us to proclaim what St. Paul proclaimed, what the Catholic Church has proclaimed since the day of Pentecost — the unity of the nations, the universality of salvation. The mercy and forgiveness of God that is available to every person, of every nation under heaven.”

He continued: “Our great nation still needs to hear this good news! That no matter what the color of your skin, or the blood of your race, or the language you speak – you are a child of God. And Jesus Christ died for you, offered his body and blood for you.”

The Mass of the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time was said “in Recognition of All Immigrants”.

It came amid the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' Sept. 18-26 novena meant to prepare for the 2020 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, observed Sept. 27. The archdiocese has held an annual Day in Recognition of All Immigrants since 2013.

The celebration includes a 60-mile walking pilgrimage tracing the path St. Junipero Serra walked as he founded the first nine mission churches of California.

Archbishop Gomez preached that the Mass was held “to praise God our Father and celebrate our identity as children of God whom he has called from every nation and race to build his Kingdom here in our country.”

The reading at Mass tell us “that our lives have a purpose in [Christ's] plan of love.”

The meaning of our lives is that “we belong to God. He gives us life so that we can serve Christ, so that we can labor and bear fruit in his vineyard, which is the Kingdom that he has planted and is growing in the world.”

“God is One and the human race that he created is one,” he excaimed. “But he creates us as 'many' – many races, many nationalities, many languages, and ethnic cultures.”

God delights in humans' “variety and diversity,” the archbishop said. “And yet, for all this diversity that we can see in God’s vineyard, we are still one. One people, one family.”

He said St. Paul preached that God is Lord over every nation, and that we are his children.

“In this moment in God’s vineyard in America, I think this is a powerful message that our Lord is calling us to bring to our neighbors,” Archbishop Gomez said.

He reflected on the current conversation about racism in America, and said the Church is to be a light amid it.

“In Christ we have one love, one hope, one destiny. And in Christ, we have one calling.We are called to this beautiful duty to live for him and to share his teaching, to bear fruit for his vineyard, his Kingdom.”

The archbishop said that “no matter who you are or how you came here, today once more he is sending you into his vineyard. We have a responsibility … He is sending each of us into this vineyard in this moment to labor for unity and justice, for the right to life, for equal opportunity and freedom for every person.”

The labor of the vineyard is first of all internal, Archbishop Gomez said: “We need to root out all the intolerance and envy and selfishness from our hearts … Let’s ask for the grace to love with a generous love, to show the same mercy and forgiveness to others as God shows to us. We need to build strong communities and strong families; we need to raise up our children to love and serve the Lord.”

He added that he dreams that the archdiocese will “have vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life coming from every race and nationality to serve all people!”

“This is the great mission that we have as Catholics, as the Church in this moment. Let us go out today into his vineyard and let us renew our country in the beautiful vision of God and make America truly a home for peoples of all nations and races,” the archbishop concluded.